Catholic Soup is a food for thought blog based website designed to provide Catholic insight through personal experience.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Alternative Spring Break

Spring Break these days is all party if your my age. Most of my friends head over to Padre Island, Florida beaches, Galveston Bay and have a good time. This year I decided to take a trip with the school to New Orleans for an alternative Spring Break trip. I thought it would interesting to return to the City where my calling and vocation was first initiated to me in 2006 when I visited to help rebuild the city after Katrina. So I was anxious and eager to start working and satisfy the desire that I've always had to serve people who truly need help. However during the trip, I didn't feel the same about my service, something seemed to be missing. We worked only two days out of the week and I was disappointed in myself, in the group, just the outcome of our work. In my reflection I started to see something greater. I started seeing that service isn't just about working and breaking a sweat. It isn't about standing on a 30 foot ladder tearing down an entire plastered ceiling. It's about just being there for the people, for the kids, and for the city.
Our main objective while we were there was just being present to the kids and showing them that there is other places that care, and show respect to them. Where we stayed was a rough rural area in New Orleans where the homes of these kids are mostly influenced by drugs and the business of drugs, and just violence. So we were there to show them that the home they live in, is not how the world is outside of home. I took me a long time to realize that just being present to the kids means more to them then anything in the world. They might be young but they do have feelings. It was sad when we left, all they kept asking us is if they would see us the next day and help them with their homework. When you told them no, we weren't gonna be back, they would just get this sadness in their heads and lower their shoulders. It was sad to see, but since they were kids they would soon forget and run around again, just like if they knew that they wanted to make the time with you last.
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