Our entire group worked together at the blue house today and we were busy all day. Mike was working with some of the students on mudding the drywall and sanding, while Mr. Drossel worked on installing drywall in the fourth room of the house with another group of students. We are amazed at the progress that is being made! It is great that in a couple of weeks we have gained the skills to work cooperatively together to install the amount of drywall that we have.
~ Mrs. Hanrahan and Mr. Drossel
We work in the kitchen everyday to make breakfast and dinner. We follow a system called “home base crew.” There are 4 groups of two or three of us. There is a calendar in the kitchen to remind us what days we are responsible for in the kitchen. If you have home base crew the next day, you have to be awake and ready to make breakfast thirty minutes before everyone else.
We usually make breakfast like pancakes, eggs, toast, or smoothies with cold cereal. We usually start dinner at around 6:30 or 7 depending on the day and normally have healthy meals with vegetables and meat.
Cooking in the kitchen is a good chance for us to get to know the people on our crews and also we are helping which makes everything go much quicker than if it was one person. For example, one person can cut vegetables while another person is cooking meat and someone is doing dishes. We also make salads, pasta, etc.
After dinner, everyone clears his/her own plate and washes it in the sink. There are three connected sinks. In the first one, we rinse our dishes, the second one is hot and soapy water to scrub the dishes with and the last sink is a cold-water soak with half a cop of bleach to kill bacteria. We let the dishes soak for thirty seconds each. Whoever is on the home base crew for that day would follow the same system to clean anything that we used to cook. They would also clean the kitchen. Working in the kitchen is usually fun (until we have to clean) and it gives us a responsibility.
~ Chloe M.
Last Sunday, we went to the day-shelter where homeless people can come and eat, get clothes and just hang out and communicate with other people. We went there to help with serving food. I heard a lot of stories how other people became homeless and what they have to go through everyday. I felt so badly for them but they are adults and if they want, they can change their lives.
But, then I saw some other people and I was so surprised and it really bothered me. I am talking about three kids who came to the shelter when we were there. Judy who is the boss there, takes care of these kids because their mother doesn’t work and they don’t have a father. Therefore, Judy is the only person who takes care of them. These kids come to the shelter every day and help there. She feeds them and gives them clothes. I feel so badly for these kids because it isn’t their fault that they were born into that family. They can’t get a good education and won’t be able to get good job in the future. I was born in a full family where my both parents work and take care of my little brother and me. Therefore, I can get everything that I want if I ask my parents. But, these little kids don’t even have proper food everyday. This situation makes me appreciate everything that I have. I have such great parents and I should be so grateful that I have them.
Gratitude is the greatest virtue and especially with such trip as Mississippi: it helps me learn what gratitude is and what it mean to be grateful. In some countries, people do not have clean water every day and they eat maybe once every few days. I can drink clean water whenever I want and eat at least three times a day and it’s not a privilege for me. People have to carry gratitude in their hearts every day. Sometimes I forget what it means to be grateful and the experience I had in Mississippi will always be a great reminder for me.
~ Liliya M.