Chloe Woods – Winter 2016 Post Reflection (New Orleans)

My name is Chloe Woods and the New Orleans trip was an amazing trip and lesson learned! Going on this trip I had to live with 6 strangers (I was already friends with the other 2 members) and I must say i walked away with more friends. I made bonds with everyone on the trip and it was really fun learning more about people I probably pass everyday on campus and never noticed. Having sit-down dinners and everyone answering the questions Jessica had arranged for us was fun. Once dinner was over we would play all types of games like charades and stuff. We all really connected! On the other hand, this trip really opened my eyes to the poverty in the places close to home. The feeling I had cleaning up the cafe with Danielle or removing nails from the walls with Jamie and Alma is explainable. It felt awesome to know we were getting the construction crew closer to their goal of a new dorm that would house 40 more residents in need. Also we got to get to know the residents and form bonds which was humbling. So many of the stories were upsetting, but these men felt comfortable enough to confide in us. They, to an extent, trusted us with pieces of them and it truly warmed my heart. They had been through such turmoil in their life, but still managed to find the light at the end of the tunnel. I whine over my phone dying while these men who have experienced drug addiction, death of children and so on keep their heads high and remain positive. Another humbling factor was the fact that they didn’t have much to eat, but were constantly offering what little they had to us because they wanted to make sure we didn’t go hungry.We actually grew a bond with the residents and employees and truly hated saying goodbye. Our last day we played a game of kickball with the residents, my team should have won, and it was fun! We could tell the residents had a blast and so did we! I would most definitely, without missing a beat jump on the bus for another Alternative Break Trip through Austin Peay, because it was hands down the greatest experience I have had!


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