Hi there everyone! This is Rachel!
We apologize for the blog silence the past few days. The YMCA we have been staying at has been having issues with their Internet connection!
We hhave spent the past few days volunteering and exploring the city. At GMHC we have been helping send out promotional materials for teams that have signed up for AIDS Walk New York/New Jersey. This includes putting team numbers on promotional cards and making posters and such. We have also had the opportunity to serve lunch to clients at GMHC. This also gave us the chance to eat lunch with them and talk with them. It struck some of us how normal the conversations were. Just chatting about weather, or places to eat. Their diagnosis doesn’t define them and they don’t let it. Yesterday we also helped to put together safer sex kits, which the organization gives out for free to clients, schools, churches, etc.
As far as city exploration, we have been lucky enough to visit so many sites around the city. We have seen the Jewish history museum, some went to Good Morning America, toured churches, visited Chinatown and Little Italy. It’s all blurring by so fast! Yesterday we walked on the High line, which is a former rail road that was converted to walking trails.
I believe I can speak for the group in saying that we have really learned that HIV truly has no “type”. It can affect anyone of any age, any race, any background. It isn’t always people who have engaged in what could be considered “risky behaviors”. Having the opportunity to listen to the stories of these people has been an incredible learning opportunity. These people are just like anyone and everyone else.
Today is our last day at GMHC and we are going to Broadway tonight!