Thursday; Friends, Farming, and More Friends!

image image image image Jack Tribolet Today started late, at first. The boy’s room woke up only after Cathleen knocking and shouting 3 times. Alex made bacon, which was the highlight of the breakfast burrito. Since we woke up late, we went straight outside to do morning prayer time. We went directly outside to do morning prayer. It was very cold while we played a game. After, we went straight into the portables after that to escape the cold. However, we only had a few minutes to enjoy the heat before we had to start making lunches in the portables. Personally, I had to leave to go to the gardens before 5 sandwiches were made. At the community gardens, we picked up vegetables off the ground. Before long, it was lunch. After lunch, we harvested lettuce. We packed box after box after box of lettuce. When we finally finished the entire section, we picked a little bit of broccoli (about 2 boxes). To think, that you would have to do that every day for hours on end, just to survive, is unbelievable. For the rest of the afternoon (about 2-5), we hung out and just talked. We then had dinner and loaded up the car for mass. The mass was in half Spanish and half in English, so I was only able to know what is going on by knowing what came at what time in the service. Despite the language barrier, the evening was amazing. We served the people food, and played with the kids until they began to go back inside (a really, really long time). We did the evening prayer, and did small group time. Evening prayer consisted tons of affirmations, mainly from Clare B and Cecilia. Small group time was basically journal time. This day has been just as, or more, awesome than the others. I am sad that this was the last full day, and am looking forward to going to YMP next year!   Emma Sartain Today, as any day began with a sunrise. We knew that today should count, seeing as it was our last full day. We split into two groups, one going to work in the gardens, planting and tending to the crops, and another walking over to the apartment complex nearest to where we are staying to deliver lunches to the kids there. I went with the group going to the apartments. There were fewer kids than usual, maybe due to the strong heat of the day. We handed out lunches and smiled at the kids as they came walking up hand in hand with their brother or sister. It helped me to realize how much the little things in life count. By simply drawing a picture with chalk for them, or giving them a piggyback ride, or even just kicking a ball around with them, you can instantly become their best friend and someone who can brighten their day. One of the most special feelings for them is attention. All they want is for someone to play with them and love them for the time they are visiting. Due to the struggles their families deal with everyday, it’s a real treat to have someone take 2 or 3 hours of their day to come play with them, not anyone else, them. Later that day, we went to a different complex where we had a mass service outside on the lawn. It was most definitely the most interesting mass service I’ve ever been to. The priest spoke everything in two languages, Spanish and English, so everyone could understand. In the middle of mass, we were greeted by an ice cream truck playing loud music and driving through the area. A train passed by about 50 feet away making everyone plug their ears. So that was our church experience! Afterward, everyone came outside to share pizza, cake, and watermelon. My back is sore from carrying kids on my back while chasing their friends down. Now the whole group dreads the words, “can I get on your back?” and, “chase him! Faster!” But it was a blast! I’ve learned enough names to lose track and done enough chalk to stain all of my clothes and my hands. My mom always says that through work and tough things, you bond better. She was right, it has been a week full of endless hot hours but I wouldn’t wish to have been doing anything else. It was an experience you can never take away because we’ll hold onto it forever. It’s hard sometimes to feel passionate about a situation until you experience it yourself. We have experienced what these people go through everyday, that’s the first step. Through this step we made lifelong friends, met people who have devoted their life to helping others, and been influenced and inspired by leaders around us. Someday we may make a difference, and if we do, we can thank all these people here today, because they have been the start if our journey to grow closer to God, ourselves, and the things that truly matter in life.   Also, thanks to all of you beautiful,lovely, full of energy and grace high schoolers that came to help today! -Cathleen

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