Day 2 - Miami Experience

Our first full day at the Centro was full of hard work, fun times, and new experiences.  As we woke up early and walked over to the childcare center, we were tasked with organizing and cleaning the building before the children arrived from school.  When I was assigned to help straighten up the toy and supply closet, it seemed very overwhelming.  Everything was scattered and thrown into the closet in no particular order.  It wasn't overwhelming for long though, thanks to the support and positive attitude of the folks that volunteer at the Centro.  Karen, one of the workers, was extremely joyful and helpful the entire time.  I was amazed at how someone could be so calm and collective while handling such a huge mess.  We were able to clean it up in no time thanks to her.  For lunch, I thought we were going to be eating something store-bought, but I was quickly surprised when I was told that we were going over to another family’s house that offered to not only cook for us, but also to invite us to their house.  The lady that made the food was extremely kind and was full of smiles, although she had just spent hours cooking in the heat for children she had never met. Her kindness really made me feel welcomed into the larger community.  Lastly, I spent time working with a little girl named Dianna.  The fact that Dianna was so excited and passionate about the English paper she was writing was heartwarming.  She was writing a summary of the movie, Snow White, and she told me all about the movie as I chatted with her.  She kept asking me if her spelling, punctuation, and grammar were correct.  If something was incorrect, she would ask more questions until she got it right.  Her smile was infectious and it really gave me the motivation to instill my knowledge in her and make her paper great.  It is also great to think about how a little girl living in subpar conditions can be so passionate about learning and so happy while doing it.  I anticipate more of these fantastic encounters with the people of the community in the coming days as we become more situated and familiar with these wonderful children.

Jaiden Parker ‘17
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