Posted by: ajsssummer | July 18, 2012

Last Week in Kansas City

Monday- Bleary eyed after a long Sunday of water slides and roller coasters, we loaded into our Minivans and headed off to the “Cultivate Kansas City” garden. Ami, a long time Gardener with the CKC gave us a very interesting and inspiring spiel on the importance of growing your own food, so you know exactly how your food traveled from the seed to your plate. After a short tour of the main Garden we split into a couple groups and went to three different gardens in the Kansas/Missouri area. My group ended up in a less privileged part of town and, at least for me, it was a very eye-opening experience. A very laid-back woman who ran the garden got us weeding and harvesting potatoes. Meanwhile next door to the garden a couple workers were struggling to cut down a large dead tree. Armed with a rusty chainsaw they worked with extreme stamina. During our periodic breaks I watched these workers, who were relentlessly battling with this tree (one of them a 7 year-old boy). A couple hours went by, and we were all lulled into the flow of weeding and harvesting. At one point we stopped working because it looked like the tree was about to give. We watched for twenty minutes as two of the workers trying to tug the tree down with a long piece of rope. It became more and more apparent that a couple more hands would win over the tree. Finally Dani walked over and offered his hand, one tug and the tree came crashing down, only crushing two tomato plants. That moment of teamwork between us and these workers broke a bit of the “social barrier”. We made some small talk after that, but the words didn’t matter, the feeling however, was very powerful. A sense of unity that crossed social classes was present in that moment.

Tuesday- The theme of Tuesday was corn, a very prevalent crop in Kansas. We drove to a private farm, the farmer their let us frolic in his sweet corn fields for a while, than we took his generous donation of corn that wasn’t good enough to sell at his stand but still very edible, to this amazing food bank/dental care/cafeteria/clothing bank etc. organization called Hope Faith Ministries. There, a very intense and sweet guy by the name of Dre gave us a tour. At this point I began to realize, intentionally or unintentionally the theme for this week: crossing social barriers. Once again I found myself witnessing the walls fading between us (AJSS) and the homeless people in the facility. Overall, a great two days of service and looking forward to the rest of the week!

Jesse Mark:


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