[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]As we continue our stay in Detroit, we spent our time productively at Forgotten Harvest where we packaged peppers and sweet potatoes. In the morning, we started to repackage bell peppers, and while we were doing this, there were two people from the local area. When we started to work with them, they were really quiet and refused to talk, but as all of us started to become ourselves, and they realized we were normal people, they started to laugh with us without hesitating at all. To me, this brings up a major point we have been talking about through our trip, and that is the concept of us being strangers, and as Paco put it: “They view us like zoo animals,” and they think of us as outsiders, but once they start to know us, they finally become themselves.
When we finally finished all of our work at Forgotten Harvest, we went to Downtown Detroit where we went to see the Riverfront. Before we went to the riverfront, the instructors gave us 30 minutes of free time where Taylor, Paco, Mason, and me went to play basketball. When we went to the court, we encountered a kid, around are age, who has lived in Detroit his entire life. When we asked if he wanted to ball with us, he just shook his head, walked away, and gave us a ball. When we tried to call him back, he did not respond and ran away. When we all started to play, we realized that he came back and when we were done playing, he came up to me and asked where we were from and why we were in Detroit. Even though I had to go after I answered those questions, I found a pattern in the way Detroiters approached people. They like to observe before they speak, and especially to outsiders, like to be quiet and not talk. Personally speaking, I found a brief moment of Déjà vu because I used to be like that; in reality, almost everyone is related in someway or another. – Vishal
Today, we spent a majority of our time at the Forgotten Harvest warehouse where we sorted through many different types of vegetables. During the first shift we took bins of red bell peppers and put the rotting ones in a separate bin from the ones being donated to the people. After this, Nicole, the volunteer coordinator, spoke with us as a group and explained what this non-profit does for the community of Detroit. She explained to us that the food we sorted would be delivered to various Forgotten Harvest farmers markets around the city.
It was then that I realized what a large impact our small actions were having. The sweet potatoes we bagged as well as the bell peppers we sorted were all going to families who do not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables anywhere near them. A few items of produce may not seem like a big deal to us, but to those receiving the food, it was a gift that they would not have received otherwise.
Lastly, we walked over to the Pink Flamingo, an airstream food truck right across from the hostel. It was cool to see the community that had come together at the mobile restaurant. The owner spoke to us about focusing on the people around you rather than yourself. Overall, today taught me as well as the group that small actions can lead to great results. – Emily[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]