I Kinda Like It Here

Bernadette Tayao

Berndette Tayao didn't believe she fit the mold of a "typical Team Rubicon volunteer," but turns out, her desire to serve is welcome and needed in our communities.

I signed up for Team Rubicon in August 2016. I had known about TR before then, but I thought I had nothing to contribute. Outside of TR, I’m just an EMT who takes your diabetic grandmother to her podiatry appointment— hardly the trauma-drama 911 experience. I’m not the ripped and bearded lumberjack type; I’m a short Filipino lady with asthma who weighs less than a hundred pounds.

To make matters worse, I didn’t serve in the military, nor am I a U.S. citizen. I immigrated four years ago. I didn’t let that stop me. I joined Team Rubicon because I wanted to do something worthwhile with my life.

Since then, I’ve felled hazard trees (under supervision). I’ve learned how to tarp a roof and take a home down to its studs. I’ve completed a Tough Mudder while managing to raise over a thousand dollars for TR. I’ve made connections I never thought I’d make with people from every demographic that could possibly exist. I’ve learned more than I thought I could ever learn from individuals whose accumulated experience defies imagination.

There’s a quote from the British buddy cop movie, Hot Fuzz, which I like to reference but nobody ever gets right away. City cop Sgt. Angel gets transferred to the boonies. He hates it because there’s nothing to do. He doesn’t get along with his partner, but as the plot progresses his mindset begins to change.  In the end, the city police folks ask Sgt. Angel to come back. His response? He looks at the guy he’s come to accept as a brother, stares back at the city police chief and says, “I kinda like it here.”

Me too. I kinda like it here.

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