My first visit to Queens during spring break was delightfully illuminating.

Among the many highlights of this service trip, my most favorite moments were when I was able to meet and get to know many of the diverse women there. Even though it would be my first time teaching the basics of first aid, the students were kind, patient and enthusiastic in the lessons I had planned, such as practicing how to call 9-1-1 and perform the Heimlich maneuver. I truly enjoyed my time with them.

Seeing the kinship they formed with each other and the fact that they extended this warmth to me were heartwarming moments that I will always cherish. In addition to teaching and learning more about the women, the wonderful sisters had also blessed us with more adventures. For instance, we ate a delicious dinner at Caridad, a Dominican restaurant owned by the parents of one of the students. On another trip, we spent all Thursday roaming around the UN building and learning from a panel of interesting speakers about the Atlantic Slave Trade. On Good Friday, we participated in a lovely, organized procession for the Stations of the Cross, trekking across the Brooklyn Bridge all the way to Ground Zero. Overall, this whole week has been a humbling experience, filled with adventures and times to reflect on the blessings I have had in this life.

Ciarese De Torres