Re-Awakening

January 20, 2010
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As I hesitated to walk off our van, the smell of sweat and dirt stung my face. When I finally got the courage to take that last step off the van, I saw something that was not familiar to my way of life. Nervously looking around I noticed my fellow Interacters quickly approaching the entrance of Andre House. I quickened my pace trying not to make any eye contact with anyone. The back of my neck started to trickle with sweat while I passed old men and women getting ready for their dinner. When we walked into the old, tearing down building, we rapidly got to work.

We had to sanitize our hands and put on gloves before we went into the next room to fruit and vegetables. I had never seen so many apples, pineapples, or melons, which had to be cut in less than an hour, in my life! After everyone was done with their duties we cleaned and decorated the tables, so the handicapped and the families could enjoy their meal. When everything was ready we gave thanks, for allowing ourselves to help others.

Standing with a fake smile on my face, disabled men and women slowly started to appear in the hallway. They lacked the strength to push themselves to the family room, where they were to have a delicious burrito dinner. I impatiently danced from one foot to the next, holding a cold tortilla in my hand. Then a stampede of people, man and women, half dressed in worn out and dirty clothes, with an unreadable expression on their faces. When the first man held out his hand to me, for the tortilla, I forced a smile and with a shaking hand gave it to him. As I passed out tortillas I noticed the same characteristics over and over again, dirty and rough hands, unwashed and tangled hair; are just a fraction.

I pulled all the strength in I had in my body to keep calm ad continued to pass out raw tortillas to those with empty stomachs. For some it might have been the first and last meal of the day. Many of the men and women patted my shoulder, gave me a smile, and said thank you. At first the thought of a homeless touching, even my shoulder as a sign of gratitude sent chills down my spine. But at the first pat on my shoulder I felt a sense of relief, knowing that by just standing here, putting a smile on my face, and handing out cold tortillas, I had made someone’s night. I had never felt such peace, for once in my short life I felt as if I was doing something right, something I was supposed to do, and it just felt right to be there helping out all those people.

That night sitting quietly in the passenger’s seat of my mom’s car, I realized I was going home to a warm bed, while many were going nowhere, but the pavement, if they were lucky maybe a bench in the middle of nowhere. That night I made a commitment to no one but myself to help every person in need that crossed the path of my life.





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