I have been in Miami for a week. What have I done so far, you might be asking yourself. Am I reaching out and helping people?
Well, sorta. :)
We have been working in parks along Biscayne Bay which is the body of water between Miami Beach and the City of Miami. We having been picking up trash and debris from the Hurricanes and from just normal life. Unfortunetly, I have seen my fair share of washed up shoes, plastic and glass bottles, styrofoam, needles, plastic bags (large and small), straws, etc. if you think of something in your mind, I probably picked it up. And the smell hasn't been pleasant at all.
However, our site supevisors are AWESOME! Their names are Juan and Ernesto and they are both from Cuba. They speak pretty good English-- I have no problems understanding them. I love their accents. And they are very nice. They introduced us to Cuban coffee which is basically a shot of really really strong coffee. Literally, a shot of it. Crazy. But so good. All of us really enjoy them and they make picking up trash and weird stuff a little easier. If I get a chance, I will try and post a picture of them, but I might not be able to until I get back to Charleston.
In case you're wondering, yes, I am in the path of Hurricane Wilma. Rest assured, I will be safe. We are not planning on evacuating at this time, but that is subject to change. Our house that we are staying in is pretty secure and our supervisors have assured us that we will be ok. Considering they work for the City, we are feeling pretty good about their advice. Plus, none of us have been through a hurricane, so we are truly relying on their experience.
It's hard to believe that I have only been gone for 6 weeks. It feels like it has been much longer than that. I am doing better with homesickness, but the close quarters make it difficult not to day dream about my beautiful house in San Clemente and think fondly of my bed and bathroom. Sharing two small bathrooms and a tiny house with only a couch and oversized chair for furniture is frustrating and trying. I'm sure by the end of this year, I will be able to look back at my time with a great appreciation for the experiences it provided me. Right now, I just want some personal time! :)
Grace and Peace.