So far work at Moriumius has consisted of a lot of different kinds of cleaning, which is understandable given that we host multiple groups in a week. Guests want to relax and have fun, not worry about dirty sheets and dishes. Throughout the past week we hosted 5 different groups; so many people coming in and out meant that there were plenty of things to clean. It doesn’t bother me to clean so much because it fills up the hours in the long work day and makes my being there useful. Plus, I know I would want the same level of cleanliness if I went away to stay somewhere.
However, the amount of cleaning wasn’t exactly in the job description. I thought I would be interacting with the guests more than I have been so far. Granted, I know I have only been here a week which is not much time to form solid judgement calls about how the rest of the internship will go, and again, I completely understand why cleaning is so important. Cleaning is one of those things where you just can’t win; there will always be something else to take care of.
Fortunately, we had some special visitors this week that allowed me to catch a glimpse of what my internship will be like once I (hopefully) begin interacting with the guests more. University of Michigan students on the GIEU Japan trip stayed at Moriumius for 2 days. [I went on the GIEU trip to Indonesia last summer so I was very glad to be working with the same program again, if only for a brief period of time] Because we were closely affiliated with the group, us interns were allowed to participate in the group’s activities. I am very grateful for this opportunity because it was my first time actually being able to experience Moriumius and what it has to offer outside of cleaning and the other daily chores around the buildings.
As a group we donned hard hats, gloves, and rubber boats and trekked our way into the forest that rises above on the hills behind Moriumius. It was particularly foggy that day ~ the mist lingering between the tall pine trees and around the ferns and cobwebs on the forest floor below. They chopped down a tree and divided it into logs that will be used in the furnace to heat the baths once it has dried. Carefully making our way down the slopes with the new wood in tow, the group continued to the next activity site: the rice paddies. There are 2 small plots in front of Moriumius that needed to have new dirt added to them and their mud aerated. I was all too eager to jump right into the plots – I love the feel of mud between my toes! and it’s not so often that I get to squish about. The mist was not letting up so the group quickly moved inside for a hot lunch before they went on their way to their next adventure on their trip.
All in all, I am enjoying both the clean and messy sides of this internship. It’s the balance of both sides (both physically and metaphorically) that create a well-rounded experience. Clean too much and you might rub your hands raw; stay dirty too long and it may never come off. It’s important to find the right mix of “clean” and “messy” in whatever forms they present themselves.