Soooooo I’m almost done here in Detroit.It feels like we’ve only been here for a couple weeks but the program is over. That’s wild.
I’ve learned a pretty good amount about how to respectfully enter a community. I’ve made a lot of new friends both at work and at home with the DCBURP fam. This summer has definitely surpassed my expectations in terms of learning outside of work as well as at work. I learned when to step forward as well as when to step back.
Looking back on my letter from the beginning of the program, I think most of my expectations were pretty in line with reality for almost everything. Working at Parkside and working 8 or 9 hours a day was different than what I expected, however.
Saying bye to the kids has been easily the hardest part of this week/summer though. A lot of them don’t seem to realize that I’ll actually be gone after today, which I guess makes the goodbyes easier but kind of sucks because they won’t truly get it for a while.
On a happier note, I’m happy to have learned more about Detroit from the context of the people living in the city rather than those coming from the outside. Although I still have so much more to learn about the city and its rich history as well as the direction in which it’ll be heading in the future I’m happy with the start I got this summer.
This summer has helped give me a renewed determination to be involved in more social justice issues on campus because I’m realizing that just because my interests are more internationally focused, people need help everywhere and it is rewarding to see the effect of your efforts in front of you rather than just hear about.
All in all it was a great summer and I couldn’t be happier about how everything turned out.