We made it to Venice!
We had quite the fun car ride down. We ate lunch at Wendy's on the way down. We enjoyed hanging out with each other. Once we got done here we had a delicious dinner with Jackie and her family at Gianni's Pizza. When we got back to the church we played several games of apples to apples. We'll keep y'all posted on our fun adventures throughout the week.
Braxton, Emi, Josh, Conner, Carley, and Andrew
First we had breakfast and went to church then we went to the beach for a cookout and met some of the youth from St. Mark's. After that we went to Jackie's house and went swimming. Next we took showers at her house and went back to the church and ate dinner. Then we played hide and seek and grog and then we went to bed. Today was great!
We started our day eating French toast croissants!! They were delicious! We then got ready and headed to the Loveland Center with some of St. Mark's youth group. This center is for physically and mentally disabled adults. They spend their day at the center learning basic living skills, vocational skills, and socialization skills. They are currently building a housing area so that their students can live there and participate in classes and gain more autonomy.
We toured the center and then split up into three groups and went to different classes. We played Wii in two classes and corn hole. We ate breakfast and lunch with the students and had a blast. We then went back to the church and made brown bag lunches for the homeless.
After that we went to Jackie's and played in the pool and ate spaghetti with St. Mark's youth group. We then went bowling with them and had fun hanging out. Overall it's been a great day!
Talk to you again tomorrow!
Braxton, Connor, and Andrew
We woke up and ate eggs and sausage for breakfast. Then we got ready and went to all faith food bank.
We were split up in two groups. Connor and Andrew were in a group with two other youth from St. Mark's outside. They assisted in setting up and working a food pick up for veterans. This included putting the food on tables, talking with the clients, assisting them to pick out items, and help to their cars.
Emi, Braxton, Josh, Carley, and Father Bob worked inside sorting food by due date and put them into different bins. All of the team was given a tour of the facilities. Everyone had a good time helping out.
After the food bank, Carley and Andrew took the kids to a couple of thrift stores and to get ICE CREAM!!!! It was a blast exploring the shops looking at different stuff. Andrew was the only person to buy anything, wait until you see his great finds...
We've finished the work part of our day and are about to head to one of the priest's houses and go swimming and eat dinner. We are supposed to go to the Myakka State Park tomorrow, so talk to you then...
Josh, Connor, Braxton, and Emi
We woke up this morning and after some cereal and coffee, we headed to Myakka State Park.
We met up with Carmen, the park ranger. We went with her and pulled exotic invasive species and then helped pick up trash around the park.
After hours in the heat, we sat under a tree at picnic dinners and ate sandwiches while watching crows and squirrels stare at us while we devoured our food.
We then went on one of the world's largest fan boats to take a tour of the Myakkan river's upper lake. The lake was super deep, at a whopping six feet!!! We got to see lots of wildlife, including alligators!!!
We then headed back and got cleaned up and played in the pool.
We are about to go to Wednesday trivia and dinner at St. Mark's, so wish us some good luck!!
See later alligator #dadjoke,
Josh, Connor, Braxton, Emi, Bob, Carley, and Andrew
This morning we woke up to banana and regular pancakes and they were delicious. Then we got dressed to go to Pinellas Hope which is a tent city for homeless people.
This area is where homeless can come and feel safe while trying to gain education, job training, and independence. They have several different programs put into place to help give their clients the best chance to succeed and end homelessness.
There we prepared and served lunch with two of their clients. After that we had a picnic and got cold treats.
Then we went swimming and took showers and came back and had chicken and salads for dinner. We've eaten enough sandwiches and pasta salad to last a lifetime.
Much of what we have learned this week is that no matter what you think about any population at the end of the day they are just like us.
Now that much of the work is done, tomorrow it's time to play!!!!
Busch Gardens here we come!!!!!!
Top moments of the trip and how it impacted us
Connor: Helping out at Loveland exposed me to that population and to look at them different.
Braxton: I enjoyed Loveland because I got to see how many people have disabilities and I got to play Wii bowling with them and picking weeds in Myakka.
Emi: Loveland was my favorite, but Pinellas helped me to realize how we blessed we are.
Josh: Loveland and meeting Kyle showed me that none of us are that different.
Carley: Pinellas Hope was my favorite because it changed my perception of homeless and showed me that everyone's situation is different and that homelessness is not always a choice nor is their simple solution. You can't classify someone based on their appearance which was made even more evident working at Panellas and Loveland.
Andrew: Loveland was my favorite because it reminded me that at the end of the day we are all so similar and that no matter what disabilities someone has that does not define them. People are people and no matter what differences we have, we can come together and have a blast.
I also loved Pinellas Hope because it reminded me that no matter how big a problems is, you must start somewhere and continue to push for what's right and never give up! If someone is not there to speak up for the people that do not have seats at the table,then people will continue to dismiss them.
Church of the Holy Comforter
2911 Woodley Road, Montgomery, AL 36111