I'm not going to lie, I was unsure of how this trip would go and what would really happen on my immersion trip to Dallas. I've gone on mission trips all through out high school so I had experience in social diversity but this is definitely a new but positive experience. This is called an immersion trip and the goal is to immerse in the culture that we are put into, we have only been here for a little over 24 hours but I feel myself doing just that.
Dallas Texas has a lot of Hispanics and there are a lot of Latinos in the area we are in. On almost every street corner there is a different taco restaurant, and Spanish is the dominant language that I have heard spoken here.
We are running a camp with elementary school kids and 100% of the kids are Latinos which was a little intimidating because I wasn't quiet sure of how they would respond to us coming in.
What I've experienced on this first day running the spring break camp is that the kids, as well as this community has a close knit family feeling. Even in the kids, they want to tell everyone who their cousin or brother or sister is. If my brother and I at the elementary school age would had been at the same camp he would have ignored me, so it's cool to see the love of family going on in little kids.
This community has a low rate of high school graduates, there are low income families and some are financially unstable, that being said today I was suprised at how many kids wanted to pick up a book and read. It was encouraging to see that because not too far down the road in Missouri I see kids playing on iPads or owning their own cell phone and not wanting to physically run around outside.
I'm going to be honest and say that I was unsure of the culture down here and really had no expectations. I am planning on minoring in Spanish and taking some Spanish credits right now at school and it is exciting to be able to use just the little that I know. Coming here and being able to interact with the culture has insured me that this is infact a major part of my life. I have loved learning about evey culture and seeing the diversity that has gone on. One of these days I want to go overseas and use my Spanish somehow but it is encouraging to know that I can do just that here in my own country.
I am beyond excited to learn more about the city this week. I am so glad to be here and I love my school and so thankful for a wonderful opportunity to do this. Thank you Missouri State for allowing me to follow my passion