Sunday, March 29, 2015

Team Building and Exploring the City By Madison

So today we officially went out into the city (yesterday a few of us explored on foot). In the morning, though, we focused on team building and further education about food deserts. It was hard getting out of bed in the morning! Slowly, we all started to wake up with various energizers such as a shake-down and Where the Big Wind Blows. Some of these activities helped us learn more about our team, such as the latter, and Hot Seat, where one person was asked questions for about five minutes each. Afterwards, we were given an activity where we had to match up definitions to their words. Examples include Race, Social Equity, Privilege, Food Sovereignty, Food Security, and Institutional Racism. I thought it would be a lot easier than it was: we really had to work together to piece each definition to its word, with much trial and error. The collaborative effort definitely made it easier, though, and it was good practice in cooperation. Then we split into two groups to talk about what food deserts are and who they effect. Food deserts are basically areas where there is a lack of access to nutritious, healthy food. These tend to be in urban areas, and often affect those with a lower economic status, and minority groups. Overall, a beneficial discussion.

When we left the apartment, our first stop was the Milwaukee Art Museum. It was a gorgeous structure located right on Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes just astound me with their size and beauty. I've only seen Lake Superior before today, but its just as incredible. Coming from Minnesota, it's so unusual not being able to see a bank on the other side. The building reminded me a bit of a spaceship on the inside, though outside it looked more nautical, with the white sides curving up to a point. Little did we know that the entire building was rented out for an event--we had no idea and had to leave unfortunately. Luckily we got to go to the Market, which is like a little conglomeration of shops in one building, featuring bakeries, food stands, a place that sold flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegar, fresh fruit and veggies, and a floral shop. A few of us left for a coffee shop named Collectivo before we left for the apartment.  We also got to try oysters, which I thought were pretty good this time around, especially with a little bit of salt.

Yesterday, we went out exploring before turning in for the night. The buildings here are utterly amazing, I was surprised at the old architecture! The library was especially beautiful, and just massive (picture included). On our way, we also went past a beautiful cathedral and an interesting red church with a tall steeple. We didn't go too far since it was pretty cold last night and getting late, but it was nice to get to know the area a bit. Some of us are in the process of cooking dinner, black bean burgers, which will be a new experience. I'm definitely looking forward to our first day of service tomorrow!
Fish at the Market!
The Milwaukee Art Museum

A bird's eye view of the Market

A weird little building near the Market I thought was intriguing 
What a majestic library

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