BLOG by Travis
18 hour drive? Done. Was it fun? Maybe. I can honestly say it was a “bonding” experience. Fourteen people stuffed into three vans for 1,200 miles was a test of character for all. Staying in Salt Lake the first night was a welcome stop. We passed through some wonderful country on the second day of the drive. It made the ten hour push from Utah much more bearable. Although, perhaps a deodorizing system may be in need for the ride home. A straight diet of In-n-Out, pizza, gummi bears, and gas station food was not the nourishment we needed for a close quarter 18 hour drive. It made for short tempers, and frequent bathroom stops. All in all, when we all arrived at our final destination of Dolores Mission, everyone was pleased.
> Today was our first full day in L.A. We started our day off with 9 A.M. mass. The people of the community were amazing. All of us felt welcome and as if we were part of the DM (Dolores Mission) family. After mass, a family hosted breakfast. Not just breakfast, a Mexican feast. All of this food was authentic, hand made food. Tortillas were made and pressed in front of us. After mass, we all walked around the community. Family were simply hosting booths and selling food, clothes, drinks, and small novelty items. It was a very interesting experience for still being in L.A.
After mass we met with community members who told us what it was like growing up in the neighborhood. We heard stories of violence, fear, and sometimes death. The same streets we walked, just 15 years before were full of gangs, and had a reputation of violence. I was amazed at the perseverance of the people. The sense of community that the people have here is unrivaled anywhere i have been.
Today we meet with Homeboy Industries and meet our host families, whom we will be staying with the rest of the trip. It is going to be a beautiful, busy day. Let the immersion begin.