I realized this soon after our DukeEngage crew returned to Detroit from a weekend in Manchester, MI. I’ve only lived here for four weeks, and I already feel like it is somewhere to “come back to.” While I know that the purpose of this program is to allow students to give their time and effort towards a civic engagement project, I didn’t originally place enough significance on experiencing all of this alongside the camaraderie of a new group of people. It not only makes it more enjoyable to discover such a new area with others, but it magnifies our impact here. Bouncing ideas off each other, exploring unknown areas, and simply working alongside someone in a similar position causes more pride in my work and creates a higher sense of belonging.
Our most recent adventure with Ben Heuser’s family led us to a whole new set of experiences, from playing with baby goats at Ben’s Aunt’s farm
Because Build is located a little over three miles away, Liz and I were given the opportunity to bike to work and back everyday. It gave us a good sense of the roads and the ability to extend our excursions to many other destinations around the city (check out her bike-dedicated blog for the summer for some sleek pics). However, it’s also made me realize how little of Detroit we’ve actually even yet to see. From the countless museums and restaurants to the outskirts of the city, there will always be more to experience. I hope that I’ll be able to widen my horizon even farther over these next couple of weeks.
As a whole, I look forward to the second half of our time here. It will be exciting to continue to explore, work on our projects, and eventually conclude with a final deliverable that we will be able to provide to our designated non-profits. No matter how small our impact really is, it’ll be a great feeling to be able to present an actual contribution to these incredible organizations. And who knows, maybe we’ll be able to come back in the future and get the chance to see just how far it’s all come.