The new quarter began with a trip, but not the usual distance. Had Coronavirus not seized the world, April 1 would have seen me in Copenhagen, the last stop on a 12-day teaching and public-speaking trip to St. Gallen, Switzerland; London, Worcester, Leeds, Manchester, and back to London; then across to Denmark. But no. (In addition to a talk at Copenhagen Business School, I was excited about an invitation from Mattias, a former student – described in the last update – to visit the new headquarters of the Carlsberg Brewery; drat!)
At 11:15 on April 1, I hopped on my city bike and rode 2.5 miles to the West Falls Church Metro station, then onto the Orange Line into downtown Washington, then the Red Line north to Fort Totten, then a mile south to the Capital Area Food Bank, where I worked my third three-hour shift in the last fortnight.
A little aside: when we lived in Dallas, Texas, I was a steadfast volunteer for 16 years, working twice monthly with the Dallas Ramp Project, a wonderful group of people who build wheelchair ramps for people who cannot afford them. My whole adult life has been about advancing mobility, and helping people get out of their house was advancing mobility – a few steps by their front doors were like prison walls. I have always worked to serve others, and the work projects over those 16 years were among the happiest times of my life. So there was no excuse, zero, that it took me more than seven years to find a volunteer “home” in Washington, but I’m so glad I now have one.
Because the Metro has been operating a reduced schedule, I allowed plenty of time to get the 17 miles across town. Rolled into the food bank a half-hour early, and we started at 1:00. I was on the assembly line, and the last can to gently place into a 25-pound box of food. People are hungry, and I could do a little to help.
When the shift finished, we all clapped, did elbow bumps (the new handshake!) removed our rubber gloves, and departed. I hopped back on the bike to the Metro, reversing course, and was home at 5:15. I’m scheduled to work again next Wednesday.