Volunteering: Adventures in being Bekki

Oy. Soo..I went on Saturday, after work, to the Jazz and Blues festival location, wanting to learn the route so there would be no mistakes on Sunday, with such a short bus timetable available that day (the Sunday bus stops running after 6 pm) I knew, that I needed to get my bus times down pat or suffer an extremely long walk home ( 3-4 hours) if I missed the last bus of the evening.

It was a long day. Saturday buses run the full day (compared to Sunday) but the connecting bus (bus route 25) takes an hour or more wait on Saturday’s compared to the usual 20-30 on weekdays. That, of course, means I add on an extra hour to my already 2 hour long commute to and from on Saturday’s (for a total of 5 hours complete circuit). I was also coming from working a full days shift (9-5). Lets just say I got home at 10 pm..and was extremely tired but, I was confident I had it down….

It didn’t work out that way.

See, there is this very strange thing I learned today. The bus route (Route 31), on a normal day, changes from the 26 route into the 31. Going in different directions of town (East vs West) The same thing happens with my 25/30 bus, only..I’m totally use to that one as I ride that bus every stinkin day. Apparently the 26/31, on Saturday’s, pick up at the normal stop on 7th and French, but…on Sundays, it changes to 9th and Peach.

9th and Peach….

(insert cursing here ________).

After my bus was apparently late by 20 min (or so I thought) I asked for help. Someone explained the differing stops and I ran to the correct street…after 45 min more waiting, the 26 bus arrived, only it didn’t say 31,as it should have, it listed as 26 still. The driver forgot to switch the sign once he got back downtown. If I hadn’t mentioned the bus I was waiting on to other waiting passengers, I’d have missed the dern thing AGAIN.

Thankfully, I only had to run a block, bang in the door while standing in the street with oncoming traffic, and ask if perhaps he forgot he was now the 31, to finally catch my bus. Yay.

Think I finally made it easily after all that? Nopes.

Apparently, The new automated stop notifier for this particular bus calls out the wrong street name for the Frontier street stop (I was informed that it is announced incorrectly on this particular bus by the thus far extremely non-helpful driver) when I inquired about it after it became clear I had somehow missed my stop. I had to walk 3 blocks back to finally reach my destination. Yay.

The volunteering itself was really fun. I met Ashley, who is studying at Edinboro University, majoring in Anthropology. (You go girl!) We chatted like magpies (Maybe just I did…blush…I was nervous about making friends) and she made me laugh. We were in charge of the bike corral. I was there for an hour, then, I worked the information table for 2 hours selling buttons, t-shirts, and asking for zipcodes of visitors to see how far away people came from to take part in the events. Ally, the volunteer coordinator, had me work on the bucket brigade getting donations for my final 30 min stretch. I gathered around $75 in donations (Booya!)

At the end I bought myself a t-shirt (my donation to the funding for this awesome free event) and some chicken fingers and fries (I was starving since I turned down the free pizza…since that’s also what I had for dinner the previous night) The chicken finger meal was $10 but the portion was gigantic! Easily enough for 2 people (4 pieces of very large chicken and enough fries to choke a mule)

Going home was uneventful and relaxing. I meet so many lovely people waiting for buses. Truly. There are the other kind, right enough, but the really kind and helpful folks outnumber them 3-1.

I’m home and I feel good.

Not the day I expected, but then again, the best adventures never are.