Monday, March 20, 2017

Day 2: Loaves and Fishes and Exploration in DC!

Hi! It's Richa and Samarth bringing you a daily update of our AB experience! We started the day bright and early at 6 am after a night of sleeping on the church auditorium stage together. After we got ready and ate breakfast, we headed downstairs to the church kitchen to help prep a meal for the church's program called Loaves and Fishes, dedicated to providing meals for the hungry in the DC community.

Our job for the day was wide ranging. Prior to our guests arriving,  we started in the kitchen, helping cut vegetables for the stew, breading and baking chicken, frying and seasoning plantains, cleaning dishes and tables and plating the food. As guests arrived, we served them coffee and iced tea while providing conversation and company. As lunch time approached, we began to distribute the plates of food to the guests and further engaged them in conversation. One of the guests we talked to spoke about her experience as a civil servant. When we introduced her to the purpose of our AB experience, she shared information about her view of human trafficking, giving us insight about the pros and cons of the Violence Against Women law passed in Congress that applies to trafficking in a way. Speaking with her gave us a new perspective of how human trafficking does not have to be part of a large network and can occur as smaller exchanges. All of our team members expressed their enjoyment and satisfaction with volunteering for this event when we briefly reflected afterwards. Some had insightful conversations with the guests and others played card games, all leading to a great atmosphere to be around.

After the event had concluded, we boarded the metro and went into DC to explore the many offerings of our nation's capital. Based off the interests of the team, we split into groups to tailor to those interests. Some went to the Washington Monument and World War II memorial to relax and enjoy the pleasant weather and others went to the National Botanical Garden to take in the beauty of nature around the globe. Even though most of us had been to DC many times in the past, taking time again to appreciate the location we will be volunteering throughout the week helped us gain a deeper understanding of DC's culture.

When we returned back to our place of stay during this trip, we all gathered to enjoy a wonderful meal and reflect on the successful and impactful day.

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