After a long day of travels on Saturday, Team POW! got a well deserved night sleep (after finally adjusting to the screeching sounds of various trains pulling into the station across from our hostel). Due to the previous day’s travel fiascos, we left plenty of time to reach our volunteer destination, St. Paul and Andrew Methodist Church, this morning. Volunteering for the WEME Nutrition Program, we assisted with meal delivery to elderly residents residing throughout the community. Splitting into pairs of two, we walked from the church to our assigned homes. One by one, as each group returned from their numerous deliveries, we began to share our experiences with the elderly we interacted with. One group spent over twenty minutes conversing with an elderly woman, who went as far as to invite them in for coffee. Many other groups had brief conversations mainly regarding the weather. Although it seemed like a seemingly simple task, we came to realize that our meal delivery may have been the only interaction these elderly people would see all day.
Finishing our service around 12:30 P.M., we all ate a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich before we headed off to the Museum of Natural History. Many of us had been to the museum before (most when we were children), while for others this was their first time. We wandered throughout the various exhibits and stared with awe at the gigantic dinosaur replicas.
For dinner, we were graciously invited by Louise Frazier, who works in Lafayette’s Admission office, to have a meal in her parents NYC apartment. Her mom, Rafaela Garcia, went above and beyond to make our team feel right at home. The home cooked meal, prepare by both Mr.& Mrs. Garcia was absolutely spectacular. They shared many family anecdotes and reminded us how important the concept of family truly is. The conversation led to Lousie recalling her experiences growing up in NYC and witnessing visible economic disparity merely separated by one street, which although isn’t our focused social issue, was just as equally thought provoking.
As day two comes to a close, I can say Team POW! is extremely full and equally exhausted, but nonetheless even more motivated for our volunteering endeavors throughout the rest of the week.