On April 29th 2016, I was lucky enough to join a few other Friends students in volunteering for ‘Earth Matter” on Governors Island. We took a ferry from South Street seaport around mid-day arriving on Governor’s Island promptly . When we arrived, we were greeted by staff and interns who introduced themselves with warmth and allowed us to feel comfortable with the new environment we had just entered. Piles of compost surrounded us and chickens ran frantically–I knew we were in for an interesting day.
My first assignment was planting herbs with my pal Anna Lee. We planted rosemary, thyme, oregano, and other awesome herbs in a row. We first had to dig a hole for each plant, then fill the holes with water, place each plant in the holes and cover them up. We did this for about 30 minutes until we had run out of plants to plant. I found this experience to be extremely spiritual, the very essence of giving something life is amazing.aAfter planting, I laid down a fresh layer of sand for the chickens to poop on and moved on.
Another thing I got to help out with was decorating the goat pen. One of the staff had a bunch of spall paintings done by children, and decided it would be nice to hang them up on the fence in the goat pen since little kids would be visiting this goat pen in the summer. So, we drilled holes in all the art pieces we had, and hung them up in an orderly fashion around the pen–’twas beautiful.
If you would like to see a short video of some of my experiences during my time with Earth Matter, go to this link:
Around the world day was an extremely interesting and engaging event in which i am so glad I got to participate. Luckily I got to host a booth for the country of my own fathers origins: The Ireland Booth. With the help of my peers Anna Lee and Annie Larkin, we set up a fun and culturally significant exhibit that taught students about Ireland. During the process, I actually ended up learning a lot more about my own origins and family in Ireland than I thought I would.
Since most other booths brought food that accurately represented what their countries were known for, my team and I thought we would do the same. However, as we struggled to find something worth sharing with the rest of the people a part of the event, we realized that Ireland was better known for their harsh treatment from the British, whom most of their exports were sent to and whom were in part responsible for the great potato famine that Ireland suffered from between 1845-1852. Instead of bringing in food like everyone else we decided to step outside of the box and bring a bunch of raw potatoes in order to educate our peers on this Famine. Not only did I learn more about the history of Ireland, but I also learned about other countries and their cultures by visiting other booths. All in all the event was extremely rewarding due to the fact that I learned more about Ireland, got to teach others about Ireland, learned about other countries, and got to eat some delicious food along the way. I am so glad that friends seminary hosted this event, and hope it continues as I graduate friends this year and move on to the next chapter of my life.
For my service reflection I am choosing to write about the AIDS walk. On may 17th, I headed tocentral park to participate in the 2015 AIDS walk along with other members of the Friends Seminarycommunity. I wanted to write my reflection on this event because I feel that the annual AIDS walk is avery great event. I think this because the AIDS walk helps spread awareness about the sexuallytransmitted disease known as HIV. More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIVinfection, and almost 1 in 7 (14%) are unaware of their infection. Also, Gay, bisexual, and other men whohave sex with men (MSMa), particularly young black/African American MSM, are most seriously affectedby HIV. By race, blacks/African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV. These statistics onlyfurther highlight the importance of the AIDS walk because these statistics show how many differentpeople are affected by the disease. I hope to continue doing the Annual AIDS walk in central park, so thatI can contribute to the spread of AIDS Awareness.