Karina Orejel: Babysitter

Spotted in: The Sunset, SF

Occupation: Babysitter

What are you up to today?

Babysitting. It's my full-time job.

How did you get started doing that?

I went on the Care.com website and I found a family here in the Sunset and then they referred me to other families. So I just work with a few families around the city. I like working with kids and I just graduated. So when I graduated, I thought, I'll just do some babysitting for some time and figure out what my next step is.

Seems like a nice job!

Yeah, it's fun—I get to hang out at the beach and play with kids all day! [laughs]

What were you going to school for?

I got a B.A. in psychology.

And so you're just trying to figure out where to go from here?


Anything caught your interest so far?

I kind of want to start—I don't know if you've heard of adventure camps? They're programs for after-school kids. I want to start something like that, but with lower income families. So somewhere like on the other side of the city.

That sounds really interesting. Have you found any local ones?

There are some local ones, but I'm not sure if they're focused on lower income groups. So I need to do a little more research on that and see where I can start.

What's something that's been on your mind lately?

Well today as I was driving from working with one kid in the Presidio out here to the Sunset and I was listening to this interesting interview with I think his name was Edwin something—he was born and raised here in San Francisco and he was talking about the gentrification of the city. That's been a topic on my mind. I mean, I've been here for maybe three years, and even in those three years I can see differences. I'm like whoa! [laughs]

So did school draw you to the area?

Yeah, I transferred to San Francisco State.

Was it like starting from scratch out here?

Sort of starting from scratch—I met my roommates on the website for school, so I roomed with them for the two years that I was going to school, and once I graduated we all kind of drifted off. The girl that I shared a room with stayed here in the city, so I still talk with her and we became good friends.

Where did you move from?

It's a town called Galt. It's between Sacramento and Stockton so it's there in the middle of California—a really, really small town. So moving here was a huge difference from a town to a big city.

What are some of your favorite places to hang out in the neighborhood?

Well here, definitely Ocean Beach. One of my favorite spots is Thornton Vista—it's kind of where Daly City is. But it's just down the Great Highway, and you can hike down this big trail and there are horse stables on the side so you can ride the horses and walk down to the beach. It's a little bit more secluded. Over here it gets crowded. But I like it where there's fewer people.

I also wanted to ask you about your personal style because it's very funky and all over the place!

Well the thing about baby sitting is I can just kind of wear whatever I want and be funky with it. You know, I don't have to be all professional. So I just get to be myself.

And how would you describe your personal style?

I don't know!

Oh my god I just noticed your belt has pugs and cats on it!

And my rabbit actually chewed on it! [laughs]

Did you have to rabbit-proof your place?

I had him here for some time, and I did have to rabbit-proof, but then I was going to school and work so I didn't want to just keep him locked up so I took him back to my parents' house and he just roams free. He's a little, wild rabbit—nothing's bunny-proof, the room's chewed up already! [laughs]

I like your cape and all the flower prints—you have all these patterns going on!

I don't know, I feel like most of my clothes kind of match. Anything I put on just looks like it goes with it. Like my shoes are totally accidental. And I guess my scarf also has flowers, which matches the cape.

Do you go out seeking items or do you thrift things?

I thrift things mostly, yeah. I haven't bought something in a department store in a very long time. Or, a good thing here around the Sunset, I'll just be strolling when I'm taking him for a nap and I find stuff.

People will just leave stuff?

Yeah, they leave bags of stuff. So I'll just go through it and pick the stuff I want.

So it's a shopping walk too!

Yeah, it's happened a lot. And it's all over the city. People just take out what they don't want.

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