A few weekends ago I experienced one of the most diverse weekends of my life.

And it all started with my taxes… [cue intro music]

I got up early on Saturday morning looking forward to getting my taxes done at the same facility that most of the refugee families visit as well. I board the 16 and make my way to Emily Griffith Technical College in downtown Denver to use this free service offered by the State to those making less than $50,000/year…that’d be ME!

I arrive and they ask if I’m here to get my taxes done… yes!

They ask if I have all my tax documents… yes!

Then they ask if I have my social security card… oops!

So I boarded the 16 bus and headed back home for a business card-size piece of paper that prevented me from getting my taxes done. At first, I was frustrated because the website didn’t mention this but stuff like this happens all of the time to the refugee community and many Americans across the country and so I swallowed my pride and made my way home.

Then when acquiring my SS card, I decided I would bike back downtown since the weather was getting nice. I arrived  at Emily Griffith TC and was able to answer “yes!” to each of their questions. I then completed some necessary documents then had an Americorps volunteer help me with my taxes. It was exhilarating and nerve-wrecking watching my “expected return” value go UP and DOWN over and  over. At one point, it looked like I might actually owe $350 this year but then another step was  taken and it was changed to a return of $20. Woo Hoo! They helped me file my SC, CO and Federal taxes and  sent them all in for me… FREE! Then I signed the documents and said my farewells and thanks as I left with the satisfaction that my taxes were done!

Now the sun was shining and the temperatures were creeping up into the 60’s so I decided to take advantage of this with a free ice cream coupon I had. Of course this ice cream parlor was across town so I biked to the light rail and continued my journey south. When I arrived near the campus of the University of Denver, I called a friend and colleague who lived  nearby to join me for ice cream and we had a great time soaking in the sun and indulging in some wonderful conversations.

Then it was time for me to go so we said our farewells and I boarded the light rail and a bus home. When I arrived at home, I joined my roommates as we set off to attend a Hip Hop Break-dancing Battle in near where we live. Our organization’s (DOOR) assistant director, Cindy, was organizing this event and we wanted to support her as well as experience this beautiful part of urban culture. It was awesome. This event focused on the B-Girls (Break-Dancing Girls) and I was so impressed. They also offered a variety of challenges and competitions and free-style dances for anyone to jump in and try. Sorry to disappoint but I did not try it out this time. But here are some pictures from there and for videos visit my Facebook page!

Sunday then came along and I thought I’d try something new in the morning. So after a little reading, I went to the gym. Our community has a membership at the Denver Rec Centers and the one closest to us has an indoor pool for swimming laps. So, in the middle of winter in Denver, I went for a swim. I enjoyed the laps and workout but was not a fan of the cold rush my wet hair gave my body on the bike ride back home. That afternoon warmed up a lot as the day before and so I found myself out on our front stoop reading and basking in the sunlight.

Then around 3:30pm I set off for church at Bloom which is where I attend worship here in Denver. Twas another great time of sincere worship, encouraging/empowering words spoken and it was also great to see a lot of people once again who have become important parts of my life here in Denver. After Bloom I biked home and NAILED a pothole resulting in a lovely flat tire. So I walked my bus to the light rail and made my way home from there getting home much later than desired. I arrived and was overjoyed to be having dinner with Kaitlin’s parents who were in town. They cooked us Salmon (probably one of the first times having this in my life) and a few other things. Since I gave up gluten for Lent I was stoked to see all this delicious food without an ounce of gluten!

 

Then Monday came along and Lacy had planned an Art Day for us which was soooo cool! We visited an exhibit called “Scapes” downtown and it was really cool to see people portray the landscape of Denver/Colorado in different mediums from paint on wood, to 3-D models of houses, paint on glass… even colored pencils sliced in half!

Then of course, what goes hand in hand with warm, sunny weather than a thick snow shower? During our time in the art exhibit and driving back to our director’s house, snow gathered  all around which led to a lazy afternoon watching Coraline and eating home-made pad thai by Lacy! Then we reflected on our day and past week and prepared for another work week ahead. And that was just my basic weekend…

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