Today was the start of our first official days in Santa Ana. Yesterday I learned that I would be working with the younger kids along with my fellow LearnServe members and multiple San José students. As we arrived in Santa Ana the poverty hit me dead in the face as if I were in a boxing match and I were down for the count. As I look around I see slum, and I smell the aroma of sewage pipes. Even with the negatives about Santa Ana there is still happiness on the kids’ faces to see we came to help them in their time of need. As we gathered up in our separate groups, LearnServe members had a group discussion about how we felt and what we saw around. Sadness was the main topic mentioned and how it was a shock to see people live in those poor conditions. After we had our morning discussion my group and I went to our work site which was the daycare.
When we arrived I noticed that it was in better condition that most of the housing in Santa Ana. The building was beige and surrounded by a miniature playground and a small tree. Once I walked inside the daycare I felt a very happy vibe from everyone in there including the kids. As the kids got used to us they began to show their true colors. I especially noticed Jesús show his strength as he picked up a ball and threw it at Anderson and me. When it was time for those kids to drink their milk I decided to go see what they were doing. Many of them were drawing pictures, and seeing them do this gave me the urge to draw. As I was drawing bubble letters this little girl Marcela begged me to draw her name so that she could color it in however she pleased. Our time winded down for us at the daycare, and it was also time for the kids to eat and sleep. We began to pack up our things and head out to our host families for lunch.
Upon arrival I gave them the usual greeting. We had some delicious lunch, but I’m not sure what it really was. After we ate we went back to the meeting spot to discuss the remainder of the day. We walked for what seemed a mile until we got to a school. There we decided what work we would do for the Santa Ana kids for the rest of the week including an environment project. I drew a mandarin tree, a recycle sign, and a trashcan. That process took the rest of the day. By the end we went downstairs and quickly got into the vans thus finishing a day in Santa Ana.
Kevin C., Columbia Heights Education Campus