Friday: Last day full of amazing experiences

Today was an amazing day for many reasons. First of all, we were all really enthusiastic and were ready to do our best  because we knew that it was our last day of service. We woke up early and headed to Thrive DC. This is a place much like Charlie’s place except for the fact that there were a lot more people there and they had the chance to do laundry and spend an hour in the computer lab with a partner who would show them different stuff on the computers. Five of us had to first help in the kitchen and then help with serving the food. The others had to set up the tables, help with laundry and sign in people. Here, Chelsea and Steph’s Spanish language skills were very helpful since most of the people that came were Hispanic. Mo, Jason and I were signing people in, and for me it was really incredible to see how people seemed blue when they came in, but once we said “Good morning” to them and smiled they would smile too and just look like they feel better even only for a while. It was amazing to see how the spaces for the computer lab were filled up really quickly and there was even one man who wanted to be a stand by, so he wrote his name and wrote stand by in brackets. Almost 150 people came in and they all ate together and seemed like they know each other. It was incredible to see some of  the people, that we saw during the Urban Plunge or at Charlie’s Place. This made us realize that they are all part of a community that we would probably never get to know if it wasn’t for this trip. All of these people were so appreciative and nice that they made us feel great about everything that we have been doing during this week. Some of them wanted to just talk to us, learn more about us and where we come from. Since my goal at the beginning was to show these people that someone really cares about them, I feel pretty sure that we accomplished this goal, because once we showed interest in them they would almost always do the same. I am glad we had the chance to do this, and trust me, the feeling, that we got once the people at the different places told us that we did a great job, was wonderful!

Another thing which made this day so special was that we went to a Vietnamese restaurant and the food was soooooooooooo good! We also had the chance to go to a Vietnamese bakery and try different stuff. We hope that Giang felt home for at least a while because it was definitely a nice experience.

Then we went to the Fishing School for the last time. At the beginning we didn’t know what to expect because today was supposed to be “Fun Friday”, so we were a bit scared how much fun it would really be. But, in fact, it really was fun! We didn’t do any homework today and we played with the kids outside. I think that all of us felt a lot younger even only for a couple of hours. The kids were excited to play with us and show us what they can do. We got to see them dancing “crunk” and it was awesome to see them dancing so well at such an early age! Unfortunately, we had to say “Bye” and we didn’t want to leave but we just hope that we did help them in some way, even though we were with them only for four days.

Last but not least important, we went to Ben’s Chili Bowl, where we had traditional American food, complemented by incredible chili and interesting stories about the place. It is very popular and even president Obama visited it in 2008. A lot of famous people go there just to try the secret chili recipe. This place is actually very speacial because of all the things that it has outlived. It has been there for more than 50 years and it still hasn’t changed because people love it the way it is.

At last, really this time, I have to say that we had a lot of fun today and we regret the fact that we have to leave tomorrow. We are going to miss it and miss being together because I believe that we did create some strong bonds this week!

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