by Merrie-Chris Agag
Jade District Coordinator, Americorps Vista

Where has the time gone? I can’t believe it is already 2016 and we’re in the month of March! Seriously, time is going by so quickly, we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas soon. The AmeriCorps VISTAs are about half-way through the service term and a lot has happened since I first started until now. Many events included the BIG Community Clean-up having over 80 volunteers, the Jade District film series titled “Our Families, Our Homes: Jade Fall Film Series”, the ALLY campaign, and Powell-Division BRT project proposal. With that in mind, I’m sure it will be more hectic down the road with other events such as the Jade International Night Market.

We have a date! Our third annual Jade International Night Market is on August 20th and August 27th at Portland Community College SE Campus, so mark your calendars! My experience so far as a co-chair for the Night Market is not as stressful as I thought it would be but I am sure there will be challenges in a couple of months. Some challenges that I faced in the beginning were deciding the date(s), how many days would the Night Market be and communicating within the community and the members. I believe it is important to have the community involved by having their voices heard and share what they would like to see at the Night Market.   

What I learned so far that will benefit me in the future is it is important to respect everyone’s time because everyone is on their own schedule and it is crucial to follow that schedule. Also, I learned that self-care is necessary especially when working long hours and not giving yourself a break. Working with the Jade/APANO staff, I notice how they are so motivated and passionate about their work, but take the time to realize that if they are at capacity, they will take some time off to self-care. I understand that serving the community and caring for others are important, but it is also important to care for yourself. For the last half of my term, I’m excited to see what is in store and the challenges I will be facing along the way.

Save the date for this year’s Jade International Night Markets on August 20th and 27th! Check out the brand new website for the night market here.