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A Poetic Beginning


Makenzy Kunkel

25th of June, 2016


Bolivia '16

From Makenzy Kunkel

So far, this trip has been a journey. We have been through a lot of airport time, group bonding activities, massages and beautiful sights. After an overnight flight and A LOT of airport time, we finally arrived in Rurre. Today was our first day working in the Rio Beni Health Center after being warmly welcomed to the city. It is amazing to see so many people taking so many things away from one experience. For example, today we split up into teams to work on different activities: cleaning sand or gravel, cleaning the filters, painting the filters or sanding the filter molds. I was on a team with Owen and Benjamin working on cleaning sand and painting filters. Benjamin learned he does not excel at art. Let’s just say his painting will probably be painted over. Owen helped me paint a water filter covered in flowers and squiggly lines, and we also learned that he puts a ‘y’ at the end of nearly everything he says (for example: “dumpy”). Trini celebrated his 17th birthday with us in the airport. We bought him skittles and sang him happy birthday approximately 6 times. We know he is very excited but he likes to shrug it off. Hunter painted the Texas flag on a water filter only to learn that it would be facing a wall. He is very patriotic. Sabrina, being an animal lover, mentions her desire to open an animal clinic in town due to the multiply stray dogs and cats in Rurre. Anwyn and Perry crushed the filter painting game with their flags from multiple states and underwater scenery.  They both talked about how this was their favorite part of the trip. Henry has found a way to turn everything into a poem. For example, when tasked with the word “floor tile”, he said “her love was like floor tiles. She was stepped on multiple times but did not break.” He convinced us that everything has potential to be turned into a poem. As a matter of fact, he helped me turn much of this blog post into a better version of itself. We are so excited to head into the community and continue helping out through Rio Beni. Two days into the trip, and we have already accomplished so much and bonded so much with the people around us. A great poet once said, “this trip is like a banana. You do not know what you’re getting until you commit and take off the peel.” (This was a quote by Henry Dorsky)



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