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Philadelphia Mission Trip Day One

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What a busy day. Today, my group and I had almost the full Philly experience, at least according to our guide. We started out helping at a summer camp for underprivileged kids. We were told to make friends with the kids because we are going to be working with them almost every day this week. The kids were excited to see us and we were quickly able to break the ice between us and the kids. After we played with them for about half an hour, we went on a field trip with them to see a ballet performance at a performing arts center similar to Wolf Trap. The kids were disappointed when we didn't follow them after the performance.

We came back to the church to eat lunch. Believe it or not, it was only noon. We had already done so much that it felt a lot later. We had about an hour for eating lunch and then we were off again. Our group went to SHARE to organize and pack school and office supplies because the schools here are really pinched for money. We accomplished a lot in the few hours we were there, clearing one of the sections of supplies. By the end, we were all hot and sweaty and my knees were black with dirt.

After work, Jess, one of our leaders, was nice enough to buy us all water ice. As we were driving back to the church, I noticed that there was a fire hydrant that had been opened for us to play in. It was just what we were looking for after a long day of work, and every one in my van got soaked. Our day may have been busy, but it was a lot of fun and I can't wait for tomorrow.
-Colleen Lewis

Today started with an early morning, well for me at least. We woke up at 7:00 a.m. to the girls shouting a song at us. We got out of the bed, showered and made our lunch for the day. We were the first group to leave; we set out in the van over to a summer camp where we would be bonding with some kids who we will spend the rest of the week visiting. We arrived and walked in as an awkward group ready to talk to the kids. The kids were not very shy, one of them just ran right up to Matt and grabbed his bag and started to talk to him. We played around with some balloons and other games. We spent time learning their names and getting to know them until it was time for us to depart with the kids to supervise them on the field trip. We got to the Mann Center (a music hall area very similar to Wolf Trap back at home) and all paired up with a kid. We found our seats after a little wait in the hot sun and we watched the show which consisted of mostly ballet dancing. We left from there and departed from the kids and headed back to the place where we are staying to eat some lunch in the old chapel and were briefed on our next task.

We showed up at the next site which was a warehouse where we loaded donated school supplies into boxes and sorted them. The work we did here was for an organization called SHARE which helps provide individuals with food. There was a lot of heavy lifting involved and we were all pretty tired after this. Our awesome leader Mrs. Servey took us to get some ice cream from a local place.

On our way back to the housing site we stopped to play in a spray of a fire hydrant, a true Philly experience. From here we went to dinner at a Puerto Rican place where we got to know the other serving group over some plantains. From there we visited the famous steps from the Rocky movies, and then headed home. Now we are just spending the night playing some #gnarlyspeedball and getting ready for bed to be ready for another day of bonding and doing some great things for people who need it. Shout out to John H, Emily and my boy Sam.
-Baylor Newson

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