Trinity Cafe is an intentional community.
‘Faces of Trinity Cafe’ is a celebration of all that embodies that community.
Every person who walks through the doors at Trinity Cafe has a unique story of their own.
I’m Sarah, creator of this project and I thank you for following.
Time has wings, as do penguins but one flies and the other doesn’t. Can you guess which is which?
I drove down to Tampa from Ohio last summer to start my AmeriCorps VISTA service year. I came with some clothes, shoes, books, a soccer ball and not much else. I had no friends, no knowledge of the city, and no real idea of what I was getting into. Fast forward a year later and here I am, returning to Ohio from the Sunshine State a few shades darker with a working knowledge of Tampa and a long list of people from of all walks of life to keep in touch with.
I’m Muslim, of Yemeni heritage, and the eldest of 4. My family moved around every few years growing up. I was always the new kid on the block and when I eventually grew out of my kid pants, I became the new stranger. 9/11 took place during my kid stage and aside from new kid at the time, some also saw me as new danger. From a young age, I recognized the debilitating impact fear of the unfamiliar had on individuals and society overall. But it wasn’t just me and it wasn’t all bad. Facing adversity awakened my interest in the struggles of others early on. I grew immensely, learned a ton about myself, and came to realize that our struggles are more closely connected than we think.
The way I see it, we’re all travelers. Each one of us has a journey. We all walk our own personalized paths in life – some paths are fully paved, some are partially paved and others aren’t paved at all. We all have a “tool box” with everything we need to move along our respective paths. A majority of the journey in my mind is about discovering the tools and learning how to best utilize them as we move forward.
Serving at Trinity Cafe has been a blessing. I had the opportunity to practice old skills and discover new ones. My favorite part of the day was lunch. For the obvious reason of FOOD but also because it meant interacting with guests, volunteers, and the kitchen staff. I love problem-solving and getting things done. I love working with people. I love serving the community. I love learning new things. I love making people feel welcome. I love laughing and most of all, I love making others laugh. I was able to do all of that this year, alongside phenomenal individuals with hearts bigger than their bodies but that is not to say that it was all rainbows and butterflies. Being face to face with the disenfranchised on a daily basis exposed the bitter truth of our shortcomings as a nation. We are capable of so much. We can do better and with nourished bodies and minds, we will do better.
My experiences this year have opened my eyes to important realities that I’ll carry with me as I advance towards my goals. I am grateful for everything and everyone I crossed paths with this year and am looking forward to what is next. I want to issue a huge thank you to every person who has blessed me with his/her magnificent presence this year. If you are reading this, thank YOU and special thanks to those who have opened their hearts to me. You all are amazing.