The second day of the trip began with church with the members of the Episcopal church from the day before. They were meeting in an elementary school gymnasium. One of the first sights that I noticed (aside from the short drinking fountains) were the large tables at the back of the gym that were filled with microwaves, toaster ovens, coffee pots, boxed dishes, silverware, cooking utensils and children’s toys. “If you need one or more of these items, don’t be bashful about taking them.” said the priest.
In the afternoon, our assignment was to deliver the trailer full of food to a distribution center then distribute some of the food in the community. This information, however, seemed to surprise the man at the distribution center. After unloading the trailer, half of our group went back to the Episcopalian church while the other half drove through a few towns trying to distribute care packages. Driving through neighborhoods was discouraging because we didn’t find anyone to distribute our food and supplies to; we had stuff but either no one was home or they didn’t need the stuff that we had. It was a relief when we drove to the church to do physical labor.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent cleaning out the remainder of the kitchen as well as two rooms in the middle of the church. The students worked very hard cleaning in spite of the fact that there were no lights in the inner rooms. They were afraid to stop working because they might loose their job. If you’ve ever done a project with a large number of people, you know what I am talking about: people find a necessary role to play but end up losing their job if they set their tools down for a break. For many students, it was more important to continue with their task than it was to stop for a minute.