Saturday, March 18, 2017

Day One

Even though it wasn't the most eventful day, travel days create the most bonding moments. Our day started in the orientation office with a bag bagels, a stack of suitcases, and 14 eager travelers. After a hearty breakfast, we began our journey to the Big Apple! After a brisk walk to Mowatt, we partnered up with the other AB group also on their way to NYC. We took a bus to the Greenbelt station and spent our 45 minute wait bonding with the other group. This entailed sitting on the wall talking and doing to Cotton-Eye-Joe in the middle of the street. Finally, the bus came and we were off.

The bus ride was calming and spent sharing life stories, taking quick naps, and listening to new music. After about five hours, we arrived in the city and our trip had officially begun. We stepped out into chilly rain and walked to Penn Station to catch the Subway. The Subway ride was about 45 minutes and featured many colorful NYC characters. Then after another short walk through the bitter cold we reached our Airbnb. The house was structured like a maze -- every corner we turned into bedroom. The bathrooms, however, were far more elusive. Overall, the space certainly promotes close quarters and bonding.

The next two hours were really relaxing as we got to explore the house and settle in. Afterwards, we were all starving and promptly ordered five pizza's from Frank, the neighborhood pizza guy. Over pizza we were able to play a few ice-breaker games, and become more familiarized with our few AB members. As a team we discussed everyone's food preferences and made a grocery list. Half the group went to store to shop while the other half stayed back and continued the conversation drinking water out of wine glasses.

Because everyone was pretty tired the night came to a close pretty early. A few people got last homework assignments, while the other half giggled over funny magazines.

Overall, even though the day didn't have any huge turning points, it had a lot of little moments that set the stage for what our trip is about. We were able to learn a little bit about the stories of those around us and become a team that'll be able to help the community at large. Being able to open up to those in our group will allow us to show compassion in every service activity we undertake this week.

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