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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Farewell to Boston! – Boston and Washington Community Service


Dear Friends and Family of Boston and Washington,

As we write this blog, trip members are packing their bags and this portion of our Boston/Washington trip is coming to a close. It has been a jam packed few days, filled with exciting activities as well as the end of our Boston service.

Trip Members were ready for our Saturday Sports Day at the first mention of the word “Zorbing.” Our arrival at the sports park was met with a collective gasp of anticipation as trip members piled out of the van to behold the hill that they would be rolling down in a gigantic plastic ball. Talia was the first to declare that she wanted to be a part of the initial group to go Zorbing. Upon reaching the bottom of the hill, an ecstatic grin spread across her face as she declared, “That was the greatest thing ever!” In between Zorbing and tubing, trip members had the opportunity to enjoy the sports park, where Alex was quick to demonstrate her ability with a bat while playing whiffle ball. After an energetic lunch, we departed for Crane beach, where we spent our afternoon enjoying some fun in the sun. After creating a sand castle that lasted through a few serious attempts at its decimation, Brent and Blake migrated to the water where they spent the better part of the afternoon tossing a tennis ball back and forth, while building their bond of friendship that has been so apparent from the first days of the trip. Upon returning to Boston University we all hunkered down in the common room for a late night movie screening accompanied by ice cream sundaes!

Our Sunday events took a more historical turn as the day was highlighted by our Boston Duck tour. The Boston Duck tour has been a mainstay on the waterfront since 1994, and is so aptly named as the tour consists of exploring Boston in a World War Two replica DUKW vehicle. The DUKW was primarily used in troop movements, and is capable of navigating the roads of Boston as well as the Charles River. The tour began at the New England Aquarium, where Ali entertained the group during our wait with her quickly developing juggling skills. Once aboard the ‘Iron duck” our host Paul from Revere introduced us to many of the historical sights in downtown Boston including the State House as well as the old customs house. The general excitement of the tour rose as we headed towards the water. After an initial splash the engine was initiated and we continued our journey with a smooth trip along the Charles River.

Monday marked the end of our community service program in the greater Boston area, as well as the birthdays of Sydney and Abigail! The girls awoke to streamers and balloons in the hallway to help celebrate the beginning of what will be a fantastic year. We returned to the Boys and Girls Club of Lowell for a final day of service and innumerable goodbyes. All of our Trip members were excited to get back to Lowell and interact with the kids that they had come to love after last week’s service. Throughout the day, numerous members enjoyed special moments with Boys and Girls club members. Courtney and Naa were inseparable, enjoying each other’s company in the education room and park. Abigail and Kimeko could be found in the dance studio, where they were constantly surrounded by eager smiles interested in handstands and dance moves. Before returning from lunch, we gathered the trip members together for a debrief activity that allowed us to reflect on our service time. The activity “cross the line,” asks trip members to step forward or backward based upon their answer to a question. After hearing the prompt, “cross the line if you think you made a difference in someone’s life…” trip members appeared hesitant. Only after a female club member spoke up by saying “Alice, step forward you made a difference to me” did trip members relax and fully reflect upon the significant impact that they made during their service time.

Our evening was spent in Harvard Square, where trip members had the opportunity to explore the area and tour the Harvard campus. At the behest of Sam, Francesca and Sadie could be found confusing students by asking if they knew the whereabouts of Elle Woods. Everyone enjoyed touring the campus, I had the opportunity to hear more than a few trip members exclaiming that they planned on attending the university, which if nothing else demonstrates their increasing self-confidence.

In what has been an amazing ten days, it is sad to contemplate the reality of tomorrow’s departure. Having had the opportunity to relate to the various trip members, we can confidently say that it has been a pleasure getting to know your son or daughter, and that we all wish that we had a few more days together.

All the best,

Denise, Sam and Trevor


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