By Abby Shaw and Emily Hauser
February break was one of the few breaks we have here are Jamesville Dewitt High School. Many Jamesville-DeWitt students pack up and leave while others stay home and relax.
Junior Brady Wing slept a lot even though he “stayed up past his bedtime.” He also caught up on college basketball and was able to “snuggle” with his kitties. Wing also said that having no schoolwork was very relaxing. “It was awesome. I hung out with my friends, went sledding, and enjoyed Revolution’s bowling with my girlfriend,“ said Wing. Sophomore Owen Volk was excited about taking a road trip with his older brother Dylan to get away for a day or two. Junior Ben Vahey was pumped to chill out, snow tube, and watch “The Price Is Right.” He also couldn’t wait to be able to see the mailman, Andy, who he normally doesn't get to see because he is in school.
Other students said that it was a successful break. Junior Lucas Relkin talked about his fun time at the zoo. He also said how he liked how break was so “enjoyable and relaxing.” Junior Bella Hylen was one of the many who went out of the state for vacation. She went to Michigan State on a college visit; she also got to spend time with cousins who live there and attend Michigan State University. “It was fun and relaxing,” she said.
Many student-athletes didn’t head anywhere this break; unfortunately several sports teams had practices and games. Junior hockey player Braeden Doust was expecting to have practice all week, but they lost their game against Auburn on Saturday which ended their season. Junior basketball player Isaiah Williams said he had practices and two games. The girls basketball team had practice for two hours every day and won their sectional game on Tuesday, Feb 18.
El Salvador was also the spot for many J-DHS students who went along with the Holy Cross youth group. Many left school early on Wednesday, Feb. 12 to finish packing for their flights later that night and early Thursday morning. Junior Marissa Wilcox was “excited to help the less fortunate by building houses, bringing medical supplies, and being able to play with the little kids.” She was also excited to have a week away from everything for a great cause. Izzy Melton, Riley Foti, Julie Harrison also went on this retreat. Foti was excited to get her “bronze on” as well as build “baños” and play with the little kids which Melton and Harrison also looked forward to. The trip was ten days long and the majority of the students didn’t get back until the Friday before school started back up.
Many of the students, including one of writers of this story, Emily Hauser, who went to El Salvador talked about how life changing their experience was. Melton, Foti, and Harrison all talked about how it was nice to be able to play with the children and put smiles on their faces. They thought that it was cool trying the new foods along with learning and speaking spanish with the younger kids. Senior Owen Williams “really enjoyed the trip, it being his second year going,” he mentioned some of the different activities and work they did while they were there. “I worked as a translator in the medical clinic, figuring out what was wrong with people and helped get them the medicine they needed. A doctor also comes down with us, Dr. Joe, who helps out the people of Rancho Grande. We also build sturdy houses for them out of cement blocks. This year we built a trench and put a pipe in it that went from the well to the school so the school will be able to have clean, safe water,” said Williams. The hot weather and the sunburns didn't stop the students from helping create a better home for the families of El Salvador.
For me and also for the group of wonderful people I traveled with, the overall experience of the trip was life changing. Being immersed in a totally different culture full of new food, people, and traditions, this trip was a total learning experience. From digging trenches, to spending hour upon hour painting the community center, the days were full of adventure. For me, the hardest part of the trip was leaving all of the children and the friendships we had made with them. Coming home to reality was a big change in pace, but at least I’m not in it alone!