Atlanta 3 - First 3 days in Atlanta

Arrival in Atlanta

After an 11 hour car ride from Columbia, Mo to Atlanta, GA, our group of 10 participants arrived at the housing site in Atlanta and we were greeted by the Reverend Doctor Paul, who gave us an incredibly warm welcome and introduced some of the staff to us. He showed us around the church that also serves as a community center, which is a free space for people to teach classes, hold seminars, etc. He informed us that the church was voted the "Most Diverse and Inclusive" church in Atlanta (can't remember who published that, but we promise its true). It is beautiful to see all the different walks of life that inhabit this church. So we set up some "char-beds" (see photo), air mattresses, and sleeping bags and we done for the night.

Day 1 in Atlanta! 

 We woke up excited (and well rested) for the week ahead of us. We got ready for the day then headed to IHOP to celebrate a participant's birthday (happy birthday, again, Claire!). We laughed and continued to developed meaningful relationships with one another over waffles and crepes. Reverend Doctor Paul asked us if the site leaders would be willing to speak to the congregation about what MAB was all about so after breakfast we drove back to our housing site and joined the service. One of our site leaders explained that our trip was for women's advocacy and bragged about how many states were being served during this break (she might've slipped and said 53 states instead of 43 cities—but I won't tell who). We were well received with warm welcomes and many hugs.


Afterwards, we packed our lunches and drove to Stone Mountain Park. At Stone Mountain Park, some rode the cable car to the top and others hiked the mile to the top. We were all surprised at the view and how it seemed like we could see the entire city of Atlanta. After taking a million pictures of and with each other we started the trek down the giant stone. We grabbed our lunches and had a picnic at the park in the perfect weather—82 degrees and sunny. After Stone Mountain Park and being with pleasantly surprised with the water pressure of the YMCA showers, we went back to our housing site and had some down time. There was a collaborative effort for dinner, and we were (again) pleasantly surprised with a delicious stir fry made in the church's kitchen. Before bed we had a reflection and discussed our highs, lows, and what we were looking forward to for the rest of the week. Overall our day was full of genuine conversations, belly laughs, and some of the best memories.

First Day at the Service Site (Day 

We woke up today with tons of excitement to meet the women at the Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence (the WRC, for short). The site is extremely confidential and the employees and volunteers strive to make the safe house as safe and welcoming to every woman and child that walks in. The second we arrived, we were greeted with hugs, handshakes, and happy hellos. We were surprised at how homey the WRC felt and how at ease everyone who lives there carries themselves. We were assigned the task of clearing and organizing a shed, caring for children, disinfecting and mopping the dining and living rooms, and delivering donating to women's houses. We worked from 9-5 today and not one complaint was heard from anyone in the group. We truly felt happy to be there and to be contributing to a good cause. One of the directors at the WRC mentioned that something as menial as disinfecting tables and mopping floors helps keep breakouts and disease down, which is extremely important factor for a shelter to function properly. It is apparent that the women at the WRC are grateful to have volunteers who are willing to get their hands dirty and contribute to the shelter in indirect ways.

We can't take pictures at the service site for privacy reasons, so here is a picture of the dog that we saw on the way there today. 



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