Happy Labor Day. It has been a while since I have posted anything, because I accidentally deleted all my photos from my phone. I didn’t want google photos to keep backing up my photos because I have a backup elsewhere. I told it to stop syncing, then deleted all my pics from the cloud in google. And…off my phone they went. Technology does not love me sometimes. But I didn’t want to post anything picture-less, and my photo storage wouldn’t give me the option to re-download to my phone. **Insert long dramatic yet slightly frustrated sigh here.** I now have my laptop back, so here we go!
I am on the bus, heading back to one of the most beautiful places I have encountered in Scotland so far….the Isle of Skye. I was lucky enough to have one of my co-volunteers in the hostel I was at in Fort William allow me to ride with her on her trip there. It rained almost the whole time, but I got these pictures.
I want to hike this island in a way that I cannot describe. There is so much subtle and untouched beauty here (as well as a lot of fully destroyed things by tourists. Rant ahead: Toilet paper DOES NOT DISSOLVE when you throw it on the ground.Think about how long it sits in a toilet without dissolving! Either cart it out like you would any other garbage or burn it in your campfire. My friend has photos of a beautiful area; behind every tree and bush you can see TP in the bushes. Gross. It is my new pet peeve and the strongest source of irritation for me on this trip when I camp or hike and there is TP stuck into the landscape.)
Phew.I feel better now. 🙂 After my 3+ hour bus-ride home, I hopped onto the volunteer exchange website and looked for positions available.I am lucky to be volunteering in Skye Backpackers Hostel in Kyleakin from today until September 17th! 5 hours a day, 5 days a week gives me 7 days of lodging and the opportunity to do hiking and sit in the beauty (and take more photos!) Tasks include cleaning the hostel, doing reception, doing laundry, and whatever else is required of me.
In 1882 the first Labor Day Holiday was celebrated in New York City. It was meant to honor the “working man” and to honor the “social and economic achievements of American workers…(a) tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Source:The U.S. Department of Labor.
I am still learning a lot about the work ethic of different cultures, (see my newsletter Cultural Similarities & Differences) and just met a woman who lives in Israel. She talked about doctors she nannied for who worked 12-hour days, 7 days a week because of the shortage of doctors, then talked about how hard she personally was expected to work in all of her jobs. The value of her area was to work hard, sleep, then work again. No real time to play or enjoy life.
When I visited San Francisco, they were having a problem because housing was so expensive, minimum wage workers could not afford to live, thus there is a huge shortage of service staff in the area. I also know farmers in Minnesota whose workers are trying to get citizenship and/or appropriate visas, but they keep getting deported, thus leaving the farm struggling to survive.NO answer for any of this is easy, but it makes me think a lot about my own values of how I work and how I want to show up in the world…for my clients and for myself.
I had a multi-hour conversation with a social worker from Michigan the other day, and he discussed how most people who are “on the system” want to get off of it and be independent, and how strongly they want to contribute to society. I feel grateful to be contributing in any way I can while I am here, while also taking care of myself. People as I travel also want to help. They want to make sure I have places to stay, see the best sites in the area, experience local culture, get opportunities for photos, and will often go out of their way to do so!
To summarize this random thought process- often working helps people place a value on their worth in society.They get to decide how they experience that, but I want to say Thank You to everyone for doing what they can, how they can.We all have a role to play, no matter how insignificant it can seem.I hope you can find some kind of fulfillment in your work-whether it is for pay, for play, volunteering, or tucked in the past. Enjoy your Labor Day.