Meeting in Mountain View
Despite being raised by a single mother and her grandfather, Andrea grew up comfortably in Los Altos. She remembers enjoying being outdoors and being supported by a strong community of friends and family. She said that growing up in a strong community during her formative years was extremely pivotal to her growth. It was what kept her grounded early on, and what keeps her going now while she lives her life in the heart of Silicon Valley as a successful private chef.
But it wasn't always this simple or easy for Andrea. When she got to college, she had a cascade of awakenings. Until then, she had not realized that she had it better than most people. She told me that when she was in second grade, she remembers feeling a strong sense of patriotism — that the country she lived in was the greatest country in the world. It wasn't until college, when she started taking classes and learning more about the country she lived in, did she see its pitfalls — its prohibitive spending on the military, its unsustainable food system, its exorbitant materialist culture.
Andrea has a conflicted relationship with America. She sees the excesses and the unsustainable systems that America has, but she also sees its opportunity for individual exploration and community. She hopes to continue to stay near Silicon Valley and move out to the Santa Cruz mountains, where she can breathe the fresh air and have a chicken coup — all while being close to her community of close family and friends that share her values.