Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bites and All

Oh goodness, I am being eaten alive by mosquito bites. Sorry for lack of photos, have not had time to upload in awhile.

Last night was the annual sleepover for one of the youth programs at the organization where I'm volunteering this summer, and they invited me along to chaperone and take part in the events. We grilled zucchini and hot dogs and hamburgers for ~70 people, chopped masses of watermelon, took a hay ride behind a tractor [and the staff proceeded to scare the bejeezus out of the high school students], took in twilight on the farm ... complete with mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes. I think I probably have 20-30 bites. Luckily most of them are small because they bit me through my clothing. That's right, those suckers were desperate.

At one point Julian said, "You know, I think mosquitoes were put on this earth for a reason. We should all be indoors right now, getting ready for bed." Haha, when I got there at 4PM and asked staff how they were doing, I got a resounding, "TIRED" from most. Guys, I totally understand. That's me too. I can't remember having that much energy either. I think this amnesia is part of the growing up process.

There were also skits and a talent show, but what I loved most was watching the various high school students mingle together. The program tries really, really hard to create a safe space for all participants - and we know high school is a tough age! - and last night, watching all 50+ students mingling together, I think they've succeeded. It isn't easy bringing middle/upper middle class suburban teenagers together with inner city teenagers from families that are struggling below the poverty line, and get them to work together, to talk to each other, to be friends and most of all, to discover themselves and to put themselves out there in such a heterogeneous environment. And yet after only 3 weeks together, they're doing exactly that.

I will cherish my memories of last night, mosquito bites and all.


Zonnah said...

Sounds like a lot of fun :)

Antoinette said...

I feel so lucky to have gone to a high school that had all kinds of kids from all different backgrounds. Not that everyone was best friends, but we made it out alive with very little drama. That says something. :)

Stephanie N. said...

How wonderful. High school and junior high can be such a rough time - at least, they were for me. It's good to hear of some positive growth experiences for the kids you're working with.

瑛翹 said...

i keep getting bitten by something too!! i don't think mosquitos, but still itchy!

Kerri said...

what a great program to be part of!! It sounds like lots of fun too, except all the mosquito bites!! ouch!!