Volunteering at Gesundheit! Institute has been one of the most gratifying experiences and honestly the best way I have ever spent my spring break. This trip was so much more profound then the individual tasks involved in building the farmstand. I learned about diplomacy through meeting with various organizations and balancing their various personalities. In addition, I have learned about collaboration through our various teams/sub-teams/sub-sub-teams. I have been thinking a lot about the work that was done and our impact on the greater community and how this week will impact us as individuals as we settle back into city life. I think we have truly aided in creating dialogue about healthy diets, supporting and connecting local farmers to the people, and getting the Gesundheit! Institute positive public attention. Also, awareness about the project and through the interview at the local radio station, newspapers and presence at a non-profit organization call into focus both NYU and Gesundheit’s social-change agendas.
More importantly, meeting all of you wonderful people has given me so much joy. Whether we were all clowned up making balloon dogs for seniors or cooking hearty quinoa bowls for lunch, every interaction has illuminated more and more about who each of you are and the diversity of lenses in which you see the world. Even amidst tense moments and debates, people’s openness gave me hope and comfort. Also, canoe rides, long walks to the art house, and nighttime group reflection provided additional venues for us to grow in our friendships, and I look forward to continuing these conversations. Getting to know everyone’s history reminded me that the work we were doing on the farmstand was really an excuse to delve more deeply into our passions, strengths and challenges as human beings. I NEED to thank each and every one of you as well as Kate and Ty for an incredible week that will stay with me forever.