After a pretty good night’s sleep (remarkable considering the city sirens, a yowling alley cat, and a radiator that sounds like small yapping dogs at certain phases of its activity–not to mention the effort of digesting a huge and very festive birthday dinner we had for one of the resident sisters), Jan and I were out and about before 8:00 (that’s 7:00 according to my Central Standard body time) to give ourselves time to get lost on the subway and/or to wait a long time for a train. Well, the subway maps are good, so neither happened, and we arrived at the UNANIMA offices half an hour early!
The orientation session with Catherine was interesting, and we met the three sisters “interning” with the International Presentation Sisters’ Association, one of the three NGO entities who share the office. (the other group represented there are the Sisters of Notre Dame). All share a space on the 12th floor of an office building near the United Nations…the whole office space is no larger than your average one-car garage. But they explained that all religious community NGO’s get along very well, since they know that in numbers there is strength, and all share information and resources.
Our orientation session soon gave us to know that we had better arrive on Monday morning ready to work! In fact, we have lots of homework to do before then–websites to visit, introductory materials to read, and even virtual tours to take. On the way home, Jan and I stopped for lunch in the food court beneath the restored Grand Central Station…what fun to see it again for the first time since I came through there on a train at age 10! The sign that said “Track #117” hints at the huge size of the complex, and the artistic carvings and lovely architectural frills on this grand old dame give us a glimpse of a time when people took time to make things beautiful. The subway still leaves from Grand Central so we took the shuttle train over to Times Square and from there went home (yes, 97th Street is beginning to feel like “home”). At the evening Mass in a nearby church an usher took out what he suspected was a bomb–typical of the calm paranoia of this city of surprises!