Eyes Wide Open

In day 2 of the Flint Michigan project I initially assisted in helping install water barrels throughout the community. This has impacted me by providing a more intimate interaction with the citizens. I got to experience their livelihoods and different environments. It was a shock to see the juxtaposition of stable households in comparison to the next-door decimated structures.People’s neighbors are the guts and garbage of drifters- ghosts of what used to be. My mind imagined the grandeur past of the beautifully constructed houses, but was stricken by the harsh reality of charred wood, broken windows, and exposed insulation.

The second half of the day consisted of restoring a once-gorgeous garden constructed by Carolyn Meekins. After she passed away in 2013, Mrs. Meekins’ garden became overgrown and misused. I personally discovered memorial tiles, a broken fountain well, and statues that have been hidden throughout the years. In the end, the student service program dramatically cleared and cleaned the remains of the garden. I hope the eyes of those capable to assist the people of these cities will be opened to participate in this service and further restore the community.

- Kylie Untch