Road trip to San Fran & meeting up with Watsi
This post was written by Lizzy
This past week I had the good fortune to make a trip to San Francisco with my friend Steveo. Steveo is heading for Chile for nine months and our mission in San Fran was to pick up her visa from the consulate. (Check our her Chilean adventures here) While plotting our epic drive-a-thon (eleven hours there, eleven back!) I figured it would be a great opportunity to meet up with the crew at Watsi, who are headquartered there as well.
We left early Sunday morning and blasted through the miles. Many tunes were pumped and much coffee consumed. And what road trip would be complete without a pitstop in a small town to make sandwiches and sit around on benches? We were also lucky enough to see a giant creepy robot Mickey Mouse mascot. These kind of eccentricities are just one of the many things I’m looking forward to on our upcoming tour.
Arriving in Oakland, we were first able to spot the giant cloudy mass that is San Francisco. We quickly found our home for the evening, with our Airbnb host Jason (shout out to his page ’cause he was awesome). After getting settled, Steve & I took a quick train ride over to Berkeley to get a feel for the public transportation system, as well as to get a bite to eat! We ended up chowing down dinner at great vegan restaurant, Herbivore (linky linky).
With full bellies and chilled arms & leggies (we both forgot to wear more than shorts & t-shirts, sneaky San Francisco weather…) we took the train back to our temporary home. It was then a good time of playing with kitties, chatting with Jason, and eating the delicious popcorn he shared with us. Also, right before heading for bed, I did get to catch a glimpse of one fat skunk waddling down the drive. That made my day. Just kidding, but really, it was pretty cute.
In the early-ish morn, we both awoke, ready to start the day & accomplish our missions. A quick breakfast then a train ride to downtown Sandy Frandy, left us with the next big task: finding our way to our respective destinations. After Steveo was on the right track, I headed off to find the elusive Watsi headquarters.
One small trek through the city, and there I was, buzzing my way into the building, and getting slightly nervous…and sweaty. Grace, the Watsi pro who has been helping set this whole thang up, greeted me at the door and introduced me to the team. Everyone was really friendly and nice, which made me less nervous, but not less sweaty. These things just happen.
While I was there I wanted to learn more about the volunteer opportunities for people who want to support Watsi. (I had read about a few fantastic helpers on their blog). Grace put me in touch with Ashley, a volunteer coordinator, who told me of the some of the different ways folks can help out this cause:
“Our volunteer program consists of two levels of volunteers. The first level, “storytelling volunteer”, requires ~3 hours/week commitment and is mainly done remotely. These volunteers take input from our medical partners and turn them into the profiles that you see on the website. The other volunteer position is the “content editor”, this role can be done in office or remotely and requires ~10 hours/week commitment. Editors work with the profiles written by storytellers to maintain consistency and positivity, as well as get to send out patient updates to donors after the treatment is complete.”
If this sounds like something you’d be up for, get in contact with the team here: firstname.lastname@example.org
After I awkwardly snapped a few pictures of people at work, and got a group photo to use on this here blog, it was time to head out and meet back up with Steve. It was great being able to stop by and meet the crew who are helping making global healthcare a reality.
Soon, Steveo & I were headed back to Berkeley to jump in the car & drive home. A successful trip to San Francisco for the both of us.