Growth and always learning about different places in this world is something that everyone needs to be educated on and to experience in life. Sometimes I feel as if I’m stuck in a little bubble. I only really know about life in the places that I live whether it be my hometown or my school, I don’t really get to experience much outside of those environments. Something that I have never been able to do is go to the city of Flint and see what I see on the news or in articles that I’ve read. One of the service teams on campus, Flint Active Crisis Team and Service (F.A.C.T.S.) strives to make a difference in the Flint community by going down there and assist them in different things that could help the environment there.
This is one of the first service trips that I have been on in Flint so, I was very anxious to see the life there and excited to help out as much as I can. As a team, anyone that signed up to help out was able to go and we were broken up into different groups in which would decide which service projects we would work on throughout the day. I had the pleasure to work with some of people that lived there in some of the different yards in the streets doing blight cleanup.
My group and I were coming into thinking we were just going to pick up some trash and that was all it was going to be, but something that I really took out of this trip was the culture shock and actually seeing some of the homes that people were living in and how they were very different from what I am used to seeing.
I don’t live in a rich area, but seeing some of the houses made me quite sad to see how these houses have almost decomposed throughout the years. Some were burned down, some were just ruined with doors broken down, windows smashed, and the yards trashed. As we walked through the sites where we were cleaning up, we experienced things that was just shocking to see out in the open. As a group we didn’t know what to think when we were walking through the yards and the fields, but we realized that some of the things that we saw were not necessarily normal for the people there, but that’s just how life was for them and they try to make the best of it. We would also, pass people on the streets and they were so kind, they would smile and tell us “have a good day” and even though they may not have the best way of life, they always have a smile on there faces.
Coming into this trip, I didn’t really know what to expect. Being able to see the life that people live and some of the environmental shocks that were quite normal to them really made opened my eyes to how different areas of the state that we live in can be so different from town to town. I don’t even live very far from Flint, but the difference in environment and living is so drastic that it just shows how different areas are diverse and have different cultures. I think that everyone should have the opportunity to learn about different parts of our beautiful world and I’m glad that I was able to have the privilege to have that at my trip to Flint. Thank you to the Flint Active Crisis Team and Service for all that you do and I can’t wait to see the amazing things you do in the future!