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Now that I have had a few days to think about the amazing and inspiring week that we had in Baltimore, I can’t help but miss being there with the group and the wonderful people that we met.  I got back home on Sunday and came home to my family and a clean house with multiple cars in the driveway and could not help to think about all the people we met that would love to live the way I do.  I am so grateful to have the family and support that I have especially from my parents after my week in Baltimore.  If it weren’t for them I could be in the same place as some of the people we met.  I will never forget Willie and some of the other men at Christopher’s Place who told us that we are all one bad decision away from being on the streets.  That is so true and I wish more people could have the same experiences that we were privileged to have during Spring Break. 

Now that I am back to life at CNU, I find myself paying attention more to the people around me.  I say Hello more often because I now understand that a smile can make a person’s day so much better.  I have noticed how much people complain about things that are so petty.  I have learned that I need to be more thankful for the things I have and I want to do more to help people around my community.  I now want to strive to be a person who is completely happy and satisfied with my life just the way it is because it could be way worse. 

I did not just learn things from the strangers that we met in Baltimore I also have learned things from the group that I went with as well.  I could not have asked to share this experience with better people.  I learned something about myself from each and every one of them and I feel truly blessed to have met all of them.  Last night at our final reflection we played a game where the two leaders of the group would call out questions/statements and two people at a time would go around and tap the people they believed represented this statement.  Since the people in the circle had their eyes closed we had no idea who was tapping us.  It was a great way to show our appreciation to the everyone in the group.  From this I learned a few things about myself from others eyes.  I was tapped for various different things like having a great smile to being a great listener and always being positive.  I loved this game!  It really showed each one of us that we were appreciated and the trip would not have been successful without each one of us.  I would personally like to thank each person who made this trip possible and one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Anita – First off you are an amazing person!  I am so glad that I have been able to get to know you and hope to continue that friendship that we formed.  You made me feel so comfortable with the group by you just being yourself which in-turn helped me just be myself.  Thank you for putting together this trip it would not have been so successful without you!

Kelsey – Your positive attitude is so inspiring.  I wish I had a little bit more of that in me.  You are also one of the sweetest people I have ever met.  I thank you so much for helping to put together this trip it was amazing and as a senior I do not regret going to Baltimore for Spring Break instead of somewhere tropical at all.

Mar’Tina – You crack me up! So quiet yet you can be so funny when you least expect it.  I loved that about you.  No matter what was going on….crazy man at Our Daily Bread….you still were able to continue serving and try to ignore it at the best of your ability.  I am not sure that I could have been so calm in that situation and I hope that we can continue to hang out now that we are back home.

Linda – Your smile is beautiful, I guess that is a good thing since you want to be a dentist 😉  You were always willing to do whatever and just went with the flow of things I need to learn to be like that more often.  Your family is also so sweet and I could really see, from briefly meeting them, why you are the amazing person you are today.

Ebony – I loved the fact that I could have serious conversations with you and be able to talk about things without feeling judged.  I loved your determination to get things done whether that  be staying up late to get homework done on the trip to doing tasks at the various places we were.  I hope that I can get to know you even better now that we are back from Baltimore.

Isabel – I would have never guessed you were younger than me, I think Anita and I both told you that one night.  You are so sweet and funny and I loved the fact that we have the same sense of humor so we could crack up and the smallest things together and no one else knew what was so funny.  I am also glad that we all got to share your birthday with you!! 

Jamal – The trip would not have been the same without you.  You were the one always making everyone laugh with what you said or with your own laugh.  I enjoyed being able to have a great laugh with everyone after seeing and experiencing some of the things we did and saw. 

Spenser – You are a natural leader but also have this free spirit about you.  You took some amazing photos of the trip.  I am glad that I got to meet you and hear some of your stories and learn more about you. 

Mackenzie – First off I loved the reflections you put together, I looked forward to them every night.  I know you feel that you aren’t able to open up about but I actually admire that you are actually able to speak from the heart and say whats on your mind when it came to the reflection sessions.  You may not have thought you were making sense but it always did.

Leigh – You were so quite but always willing to do whatever was needed.  I loved that you were always volunteering to do whatever the task may be; more people need to be like that in this world.

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