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For the third day in a row, our group volunteered at Gould’s Community Center in the morning and spent the afternoon with the elementary school kids from Pine Villa. At the community center, UMD was paired up with George Washington University to repaint the multipurpose room. It was a messy task, and somewhat grueling, but no spilled paint could stop us from achieving our objective! Using rollers and paintbrushes, we attacked every inch of wall and left it completely covered in a fresh coating of lush white paint. The room looks beautiful and I’m sure it will be well used by the community in Goulds.
After a break for lunch and some uber-intense inter-school basketball competition, we were reunited with our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade friends at the school down the road. After only three days, it is amazing that our group has developed such strong connections with our little brothers and sisters. While it was raining all morning, it cleared up enough in the afternoon for us all to head outside to the basketball courts for a little field day. The kids competed in games of basketball free-throws, football catches, and blindfolded navigation. The kids’ quirky dancing, trash-talking, and elaborate handshakes enhanced the entire experience. It was a huge success! It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is our last day with the kids. Some of them have already attempted to get on the bus to come home with us or offer us incentives to ditch our flights and stay to hang out with them for longer. They really are an amazing, vibrant group of students and it will be sad to leave them at the end of this program. However, we still have one more day, and we’re looking forward to making it rock as much as possible! Time to get some pizza at the Jewish Federation of Miami… We’re all hungry after such a fun and fulfilling day.
Adam Walters and Ariel Hoffman