A Sweet Week

This week has been so sweet! (Literally). As you can see, I’m developing a bad habit of eating overpriced ice cream, but I honestly do it for the experience more than the actual ice cream. However, both are great! This week I went to a place called Milk and Cream, which is a soft-serve ice cream shop that mixes your choice of cereal into the ice cream, as it is swirled to perfection into your flavored cone. They also put free toppings and drizzles on top. I really appreciated this place because it not only puts sugary cereal into your already sugary ice cream, but it also has several televisions built into the wall featuring your favorite Saturday morning shows, like Bugs Bunny and the Jetsons. On top of that, there is a large neon sign mounted onto the wall with the words “Treat yo’self” (as seen above). Overall, this small shop in SoHo was adorable and very detail-oriented. Loved it.

This week, my group size nearly doubled from last week, so it was a bit more tricky for me to remember everyone’s name as quickly as I did before. But all is well, I remembered them all eventually! Most of the students in my group were heading to Texas, but I also had a few going to Virginia and Utah, which are all places I’ve lived in! I was very excited when I found that out. For our lip sync battle, we danced to the song “Take On Me” by a-ha. I did a goofy jig for part of it while Natsutoshi, our Japanese group member rocked out mouthing the words. The rest of the group performed incredibly as they followed their self-choreographed dance sequence. My group this week was so fun and I loved getting to know them and taking them through NYC. One of the students, Tom, requested to take a look at the tallest residential building, 432 Park Ave. It was the coolest. He knew more about that building than I did, and he doesn’t even live here!

432 Park Ave (starting at bottom right corner)

The cool thing about this place is that the panels without windows are empty shafts that allow wind to blow through. If those weren’t there, the building would topple over in a storm from wind resistance!

My awesome group week 2! This photo very accurately portrays each of these students’ personalities.

A few interesting things happened this week. Half my group that was going to Texas had their flights to Dallas/Fort Worth cancelled, then rescheduled for Sunday. This meant that they had to stay on campus an extra day. This also meant that a lot of people had to work more this weekend than normal in order to help the students. It was a bit hectic this weekend but it was fun having those students as well as others stay here! They are all now safe and sound with their host families.

Another experience I had this week happened yesterday. I had spent most of the day first at church, then walking around the city, sight seeing near Bryant Park, walking around SoHo, and finding fun places to eat with a couple other group leaders. After our SoHo adventures and pho stop in Chinatown, we had to head home. Their tickets were from Grand Central, while mine was from Harlem, so I had to go a separate way from them. Long story short, the metro took so long (even with leaving an hour before the train left!), that I missed the train. It didn’t help that my maps directed me to the Harlem 125th metro station, not metro-north train station… which are two different stations. I ended up having to wait for a later train to take me back to Thornwood, which was a bummer because I was tired of walking and I was also scared to be alone in Harlem all by myself at night.

Don’t worry, I survived the extra hour with no issues. It ended up working out really well, actually. I’m not sure if I missed the train simply because of my lack of attention to the station on my maps, or if for some reason I was supposed to be on a different train. As soon as I stepped onto the train platform, the train arrived. While walking onto the train, I noticed a Latin family having difficulty explaining their situation to the conductor. I offered my assistance in translating, and helped work things out for the family. I am so grateful that I am able to continue using my Spanish for good wherever I go. I think that’s the reason I continue to understand and speak it fairly well for not practicing it as often as I used to. I hope that I can continue using this knowledge to bless those around me, and take every opportunity I can find to do so.

That’s all for this week! Stay tuned for more adventures to come!