Before I came on this trip, I saw the list of people that were going and was excited because I felt as though I somewhat knew everyone but two people. (Erica & Rob) But throughout this trip I have learned a great deal about the people that I even thought I knew! Since day 1, our group as a whole has had a natural bonding experience. Throughout our car rides, community service experiences, and trips; we have shared many opinions/beliefs/perspectives with each other which is why I feel like this trip has been so rewarding. The first day we spent exploring The King Center and The Birth Home of MLK Jr. Walking through the King Center was a very powerful experience because it was amazing to see MLK's dream come true. We often just look at dreams in a wishful mind set but getting the chance to see all the history around us really made me think about this quote: "Walk by faith, not by sight!"
Yesterday, we went to Josea Feeds The Hungry Warehouse, where we were directed to assort canned goods into food groups that had already been made. I must say, we worked extremely hard and were determined to finished a HUGE box that held about a thousand of mixed cans into their perspective groups. Being the bonners that we are...of course we went above and beyond and started with smaller boxes then working our way into finishing that box with thousands of cans. I can't really say much other than: TEAMWORK! We really did work great as team :)
To end our community service involvement in ATL, we went to an elementary school near The King Center where we executed a program called Junior Achievement. Last night, before going to the school we did take time to prepare and split up into groups...going through the material we needed for today. This program was so organized and just really well thought out that there was no room for confusion. When we got to the school this morning we were warmly greeted and sent to our own classrooms. I worked with Erica in Ms. Bell's classroom which was GREAT, CRAZY, HECTIC, BUT NONETHELESS ENJOYABLE. We had about 5 lesson plans that taught the kids specific objectives such as the importance of earning (money/rewards), how to save money, how to simply distinguish each coin, etc. Our class was really energetic so we tried our best to keep the flow going and keep them entertained! I had sooo much fun today because the kids were great and lovable as always!
Overall, this experience has been fullfilling and rewarding in so many aspects. (Giving back to the community, bonding, LAUGHING, teaching G new lingo, meeting new people, and most of all getting the feel of SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY) I really appreciate all the work that Dana put into organizing this trip and for Pat's power to help us carry it out! haha..But I must admit Giancarlo has done an amazing job in communicating with us and guiding us to reflect upon the things that we often take for granted! So thanks to all who helped put this together because it was DEFINITELY worth it :)
Natasha G. Perez