January 23rd, 2020: Poverty and Humility

A truly remarkable day. Braeden and Will had the reflection which you will find below. 
Day 6 Summary
 
            It is day 6 and I think all of us have felt a sense of poverty in some way this week. From, Jake and Will both snoring in a sweet symphony causing very little sleep, to the water heater breaking, forcing us to take cold showers, we all have gone through a lot together. Today was an amazing experience. The day began with Mr. Collins “waking us up late” (aka he snoozed his alarm too many times). We headed to school and played one of the students favorite games, “Fortress Dodgeball.” The rides to the school have been fairly silent with Mr. Clark and Mr. Collins but the second that we step into that gym and started playing this game, there was an energy that just embellished the whole school. All the kids wanted to get in this game and hit Mr. Clark with a dodgeball pretty badly. We then went into one of the kids second favorite thing to do, MAP testing! Today was the Language arts section. It is very hard to have to read the questions/passages to these kids without even remotely giving them a hint to the correct answer. They try to make you tell them the answer and what to do. After this very long 2-hour test, it was time to get to mass led by the 4thgraders. It was actually pretty cool knowing that the whole De LaSalle community comes together once a week to celebrate mass. After mass, it was time for a quick lunch and time to change into our winter gear before we head to Glacier National Park. On the way, words cannot describe the different views of the mountain that were witnessed by all of us. We have never seen mountains with this much detail, and texture. It was truly breathtaking. Snowshoeing was also a very difficult experience. It took a while to get used to and a couple guys learned the hard way. There were many snowballs thrown on the trail and stops including different activities such as an endurance test to see who would be the best at chasing buffalo, reflecting, and learning how the park came to be. Getting to walk the trail and just experience a sense of peace from our everyday life was something we truly needed. After Glacier, we headed back to school for the 8thgrade Bingo night, so they can raise funds for their Chicago trip later in the year. Already being exhausted from the day, we walked into the building and were served quesadillas, sodas, rice, beans, and some amazing dessert for only 7$ a person. It was absolutely amazing to be with the kids outside of their normal school environment as it really allowed us to have a little more fun with them. After bingo, we came back to the house and immediately made even more food, and I’m talking food galore. At least 120 pancakes, 4 boxes of Bagel bites, 7 pounds of bacon, nobody was going to be hungry. We arrived home before the LaSallian volunteers, but when we saw them pulling in, we immediately invited them to come and get some food after their long day. They even ended up staying for around 2 hours just talking and having some community and bonding. 
 
Day 6 - Braden Boyle – Poverty
 
 When I was first given the word poverty, I was immediately confused. When I think of the word, I Immediately think of money. I do believe that my family is financially stable, so I was confused why this word was given to me. Upon further thought processing with myself, I found thatmy poverty wasn’t financially, but rather a poverty within my heart. Throughout the week, I’ve noticed how much I am missing in each of these different words. I often find myself lacking giving my presence to my family, and even being compassionate towards others. 
 
While working at the school, Poverty is something that hits everyone pretty hard. It is quite evident that most of those kids live and experience some sort of poverty in their everyday life. During our first initial meeting with Mr. John Ficaro, the immersion director at the school, he was giving us some basic facts about the school. The first one was about the price to attend the school. He said that it costs 50$ a month for a student to attend, and if the students’ parents cannot afford that, the parents can do 24 hours of service to pay for their child to go here. The school also even provides breakfast and lunch for the students seeing that 95% of the kids’ families live below the poverty line. After talking with one of the teachers and asking why they never have a snow day, she said that they love having school because they know that the kids are in a safe place where they can remain warm and fed throughout the day. One day after school, we got to tour the reservation. Poverty is something that wreaks havoc on the local community. I don’t think I can even count the amount of “houses” with broken windows, a kicked in door, and just an all-around dilapidated building. I also noticed that there is also a poverty within the group of 14 as well. Coming on this trip, I had believed that all of us had a very strong relationship with Christ, but being present to different conversations with others during night prayer, it is evident that some of us are even impoverished with our relationship with God and our faith. 
This trip has been one of the best weeks of my life. Getting to go away from my every day stresses of school, family, friends, and work has been truly amazing. I would like to give a huge shout out to Mr. Clark and Mr. Collins for allowing us to have a truly LIFE CHANGING experience and also allowing us to have fun while still doing some serious work. I would also like to say thank you for putting up with our constant carpool karaoke videos. I would also like to thank my parents and those of the other 11 guys on the trip for allowing us to come on this trip. Serious relationships have formed and I’m sure they will last a lifetime. Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank the guys who are on this trip, I am extremely grateful that we have been able to experience this journey together, as It has been one for the books! I am grateful for you all! 
(Mr. and Mrs. Brune: Hi! Alex is still alive and well. He changed his CGM today and has had amazing blood sugar throughout the week, we have been watching it constantly! From: Braeden) 
 
 Day 6 - Will Ensminger - Humility 
 
     Humility is the ability to look out for the interest of others instead of your own. The bible verse attached to humility stressed how Jesus lowered himself down to human likeness even though He was made equal with God. An important part of this is being with one another and learning from one another. This whole trip is surrounded by communal living and how the interests of others collide with yours.I have had to face this when I helped doing the dishes after a 20- person meal instead of playing cards, not being able to take a shower when I wanted, and having to share a small room with three roommates. I never would of thought that living with 14 people would be as much fun. Every passing moment seems to be shared with many laughs and lasting memories. The 11 guys had made this trip to be something special with Mr. Clark and Mr. Collins guiding us in the right direction. The main attraction of the day was Glacier National Park. The journey to the park was truly breathtaking and seemed like I was in a movie. Snowshoeing allowed me to see the simplicity in life and reflect on where I truly am. I often caught myself dazing off in the distance and seeing nothing but me surrounded by mountains. As the trip comes much closer to ending, I can’t believe how fast this has gone by. Once we went to school, these past couple of days has seemed like a blur. The kids are very honest and friendly. Some kids wrote their names on my nametag, as a remembrance, and wrote “Come back soon.” One kid asked if I will come back to visit Browning and I didn’t know how to answer because these kids have immersion students coming in almost every week.  For me, I have grown in the daily reflection/ prayer after the end of each day. Each word has seemed to build off of each other and set up the next word. This trip has allowed me to see the potential that I have been given to God and I look forward to the last full day. 
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Calvert Hall College High School

8102 La Salle Road | Baltimore, MD 21286 | 410-825-4266 | 410-825-6826 (fax)
Calvert Hall College, a Lasallian Catholic college preparatory school, prepares a diverse community of young men to achieve their full potential utilizing their unique talents. Through excellent academic and extracurricular programs led by innovative and dedicated educators, our students become confident men with the ethical foundation for service, independent thinking,and responsible leadership. Inspired by the faith and zeal of St. John Baptist de LaSalle, our students develop a respect for others as part of an inclusive, lifelong Calvert Hall brotherhood as Men of Intellect, Men of Faith and Men of Integrity.