(1-17) Last night, before we settled down, Tracy, our reflections leader, took us through an exercise to identify our expectations and goals for the week. After our discussion, this was my synopsis of the themes and goals for our service:
We tend to live our lives looking ahead to the next step, rather than enjoying the step that we are on now. Starting on this trip and carrying on, we hope to apply a different mindset in our lives. IMMERSE: soak up the sights, stories and experiences. UNDERSTAND: have the conversation and make the connections. REMEMBER: keep the memories with you, and relive them frequently. CHANGE: apply the morals that you learn to your everyday life. BE WHOLE: take your whole self with you on every journey.

(1-18) Bright and early, we donned our jackets and boots to head out for Day 1 of our service project. After a short trip to the Lower East Side, ASB New York got to practice our Gumby-esk flexibility when we arrived at our first day of service only to find our hands were not needed. Due to miscommunication and the eagerness of citizens to get out and serve on MLK Day we were met by a bustling kitchen far too full of gloved and hair netted volunteers.
Feeling a bit out of place and stranded, we retreated to a near by coffee shop for some research and quick thinking. We discussed the possibility of calling around to see if we could lend our hands elsewhere, but came to the conclusion that this was not a good practice of service considering the size of our group and the incredibly short notice.
Instead we made our way towards Union Square Park where we thought we could surely find something interesting and productive to do with our time. After scoping out a few local newsletters and books, we decided to tour a few more parks. As we came up on Washington Square Park, the weather cleared up quite nicely and we were able to soak up the sun in the fountain that usually spurts water when the season permits.
With the knowledge of a tour around Central Park, we took the subway back up town and met up with a group touring what once was Seneca Village. In light of MLK Day, we learned of the origins of the Village and the importance it had on the rights of blacks in the community.
Luckily, we were graced with yet another beautiful day to be out of work and we now regroup before moving on.

Peace Be.
ASB New York