Monday, March 3, 2014

Watching the Paint Dry....?

Today, half of the group went to Immokalee Housing and Family Services to work at Timberridge, one f their neighborhoods with family home units. The goal of the day was to help with some maintenance projects that IHFS is not able to get to throughout the year. We got there around 1:30 and met with Susan,  the woman in charge of the facility. She informed us about how the facility worked to provide the poorer people in Florida with affordable housing. After we learned about the different houses that were offered, such as two bedroom and three to four bedroom, we went to work!!! Our job for the first three hours of the afternoon was to work in the area called Timber Ridge painting the front and back doors of the houses a new color to match the windows and garage color.  This was actually way more interesting than I thought it would be.  Watching and seeing the people who actually lived in the houses that we were working on was a different experience.  I think that during service experiences it's easy to not realize who you're actually helping.  But while we were painting we saw all of the people around us who lived in the houses. We saw how they reacted and how they felt about what we were doing.  When I saw the people in the community, I tried to put myself in their shoes.  Honestly, my first thought was that I would be embarrassed to come back to my house to other people fixing it up.  But then I started to think about it more and realized how these people have difficulties that I can't even imagine.  They come back to a house with relief and gratitude.  The difference in their automatic reaction of gratitude and my automatic reaction of embarrassment shows me that this experience really is a shock to me and is something that I haven't experienced yet. I like the fact that I have the opportunity to see a different part of the world that I don't see in Pittsburgh.  The amount of need and gratitude is different than anything I experience at home or at school.  It's only been one full day in Immokalee and I already have gotten a new education and outlook on the hardships that other people experience.  

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