Saturday, June 22, 2019

Day 5- Bo

'Twas a busy day. We started early with a quick breakfast, and quickly got on the road towards our service site. We worked with an organization called Giving Hope, a non profit which supplies groceries for those in need of them. Overall, it was a great experience consisting of great people, fun conversations, and loads of kindness. One of my (Bo Darwin) favorite parts of the day was when an older woman gave me a big hug for helping carry her box of groceries. This simple act meant a lot more to me than I'm sure she expected, and reminded me of the great experiences I get to have on this trip. After a few hours of hard but fulfilling work, we made our way to a quiet but beautiful labyrinth in a large park (Audubon Park). We had time to reflect, pray and relax. I personally spent this time to sit in the shade, for my neck was already badly sunburned (sorry Mom but we got aloe vera so it's all good). We then visited the Tree of Life, an extremely large oak tree which was easy to climb (for those concerned parents, no one got hurt), and provided lots of shade. The huge branches drooped down to the ground like huge arms of which thick ropes (up to 4 feet long) of moss dangled from. This was quite the spectacle. We made our way home after about an hour in the park, and Riley's Group (consisting of me, Sadie, Annie, and Katherine) made our dinner of tacos for the group. They were the best tacos I've ever had, probably due to the fact that we made them. This was a nice ending to a long day, and I am excited to see what tomorrow holds for us.

Xoxo - Bo

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Day 4-Annie & Walter

Hello parent people! This is Walter and Annie for the blog on day four. It was a great day even though some of our plans didn't workout as we anticipated. The day started with a trip the Edible Schoolyard for our service. Our day flipped around with an unfortunate and unforeseen cancellation of the service trip. Instead, we took a hike around the Garden District and saw Sandra Bullock's mansion, along with many other examples of the beautiful architecture here. We also visited the Christ Church Cathedral. We then went back home and changed into swimsuits and headed out to the pool. There, we spent an afternoon hanging out, making friends and running away from Mike. After an hour or so at the pool, we went to the other side of the river to go to Popeyes for dinner. Then, after a short walk towards the French Quarter, we went to the Preservation Hall on Bourbon Street for a live jazz concert. We were told the show we were supposed to go to was at the wrong time, so we used this time to explore the French Quarter while we waited for the next show. After a half hour of exploring and/or searching for a bathroom that wasn't in a bar, we came back to wait in line for the next concert. With the abundance of cigars & cigarettes, the smell was terrible, and the wait was hot and miserable. However, the concert was amazing and fun. The band played several amazing tunes, including Royal Garden Blues and Little Eliza Jane. We were introduced to some of the best jazz players on bass, piano, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone and drum set. This helped us experience some New Orleans culture through music, and we were able to learn about a culture different than ours through this experience. It was wonderful, and after a long day full of fun and learning, we went home and took showers. The rest of the night was relaxing time for us to get ready for bed and spend time with each other.

The day was a great experience and our will was tested with the many changes that went on the day, including the cancellation of service and the wait for the jazz concert. The culture we were able to experience helped us learn about New Orleans and the different traditions and customs here. Even though we had a hard time with some of the twists and turns through the day and we weren't able to do our service, we still had a great time and learned a lot from our adventures. New Orleans is a wonderful place that has so many interesting things that aren't shown in San Francisco and San Jose. It was a wonderful day that helped us strengthen our bonds and friendships that we have been creating, and we both had a great time and are looking forward to today.

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Sorting beads

Mardi Gras bead mural



We took a moment to beat the heat inside of Christ Church Cathedral. 

Day 3: Sadie and Ryan

Hello Erybody!
This is Ryan (Shifty) and Sadie (Sadie). Sorry for the late update, but there was a very intense game of Monopoly going on last night, which Sadie claims to have won. Yesterday started earlier than expected, with a 6 AM wake-up for Sadie and 7 AM for everyone else. First thing we had to do was make our breakfast and bag lunch, before moving to the chapel for a pre-service pep talk. Once sufficiently pumped on spirit and verve, we piled into the vans ("The Shiftmobile" and "Earl").
Our first stop was ARC, an organization dedicated to helping individuals with disabalities. Our very New Orleans-themed task was to sort Mardi Gras beads for re-sale. We worked diligently from 9-12 stopping only to try on a few necklaces. 
After eating our lukewarm bagged lunches in the parking lot, we got back into the vans and went to CVS for bandages (in addition to Bo's ankle, mosquito bites and small scratches and cuts are rampant) en route to the Presbytere in the French Quarter. In this museum we learned about Hurricane Katrina and the history of the city, in addition to the traditional of Mardi Gras. We also got to see the rich tradition of tourism money grabbing, walking past multiple Palm Readers and psychics (Sadie believed them). 
After a fun filled day we hippity-hopped to Walmart where we were split into three teams. Each team was given a budget of 70 dollars and asked to plan and purchase a full dinner for the group (word on the street is that Riley's team went 20 dollars over budget). Conflict arose when all 3 groups immediately decided to make tacos, but was thankfully resolved and we now look forward to Mac n Cheese, Salmorej√≥, and also tacos. After our adventure we returned back to our home base and chillaxed (and by "chillaxed" we mean lost to Marguerite in her first ever game of Oh Heck). 

Shifty: I enjoyed the day, taking to heart Stafford's words that "no task is too small". Though the job we did was not very personal, it has a large impact on the community, which at the end of the day is what's important. Also, the museum was the second museum I have ever enjoyed, and the hour and 15 minutes we spent there were enlightening (I especially liked choosing my prom outfit for next year out of the gay-Krewe section with Riley). At the end of the day, I felt closer to those I'm on the trip with and my energy is revamped in anticipation for an entire week full of days like this. I miss everyone back home and the 8 of you reading this as I pass it to Sadie.

Sadie Ray: I found our work yesterday meaningful precisely because of its menial nature. The task itself entailed organizing beads, a mindless and simple action. What made it meaningful was the people we were working with. Having workers from the organization working along side us and directing us reminded me that true service entails doing whatever is needed from the community you're serving, even if the task is as small as de-tangaling necklaces.