Day 5 - Miami Experience

Today, March 31st, was an awesome day, but as I write this I realize how hard it is to just write about one day or one experience. This trip has been one of the best experiences of my high school career and there is so much to fit into a short reflection. The main thing I have learned from my time here is that nothing is what it is made out to be. Through resources like the media and internet, we are greatly mislead about what actually happens in these communities. I’ve been blessed to meet many extraordinary people here, the main ones being the volunteers that live here. My new friends Keyra, Ivan, Karen, and Manuel have taught me more than any reporter or website ever could. From Keyra, I learned about the ways that humor and sarcasm translate, or don’t, and how to pick up on them. From Ivan, I learned about friendship, trust, and life in the Homestead camp. From Karen, I learned about how to have fun, but know when to be serious and take control of a group. And from Manuel, I learned about community, and what the people here are willing to do for one another, never expecting anything in return. I, by choice, or sometimes even without me realizing it, have been completely immersed in this new place I consider my temporary home.
As I walk the streets, meet new people, and have new experiences, I realize how important it is to stay present. I think through phones and technology we are distanced from each other and the community. I have tried to live simpler and be happier with less like those who live here. The people here, while they are monetarily poor, are rich in spirit and love in ways I never imagined people could be. During the second day several others and myself needed to plant some flowers but the ground was too rocky and solid. One call and twenty minutes later, we had a pickaxe and a promise to provide more help if we needed it. This is just one of many new stories I have to tell and I look forward for the rest of the week and making more memories so there are more to tell.    
Ben G '16