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“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

The above quote is so fitting for this post that it’s almost frightening. Allow me to explain.

First, as I go through this semester I’ve been discovering things about myself that I never knew existed. Traveling does that to you, I suppose. You’re put into a new situation with CRAZY opportunities and you begin to find yourself through the experiences you have and people you meet along the way.

Second, as you begin to discover all the opportunities you begin to realize how much this world has given to you. This world has given you LIFE and POSSIBILITY. Every day I’m here I feel more and more called to give back to this wonderful place that has already given me so much. SO when the JForce announced that we would be having a service day I jumped at the chance to lose myself in the service of others.

Third, when Gandhi visited Rome he stayed at the house literally right outside our campus gates. In Monte Mario. Where we had a service day where we tried to lose ourselves in the service of others. It’s fate.

Let me tell you about this service day. After meeting up in the morning (and receiving our free shirts!) we set off for the park in Monte Mario. As we were heading out Cindy (our Associate Dean of Students) told us that instead of walking herself and the man facilitating the clean-up had offered to drive us up to the park. We were already thrilled that we didn’t have to walk to the park when we saw the car pull up that would be driving us there. We would be riding in a Jaguar to the park! Even I, who knows nothing about cars, was excited to cruise through the streets of Monte Mario in the back of a Jag.

After a much too short drive we arrived at the park, and began the cleanup, which entailed moving branches and brush off a path and out of the main part of the park so that the take-away crew could get to it. It was quite a sight seeing all the boys carrying huge logs while the girls dragged branches the size of small trees up the hill. By the end we were covered in dirt, sweaty, but somehow still smiling and laughing at how silly we all looked.

After the cleanup we were lead on a walking tour of the park, where we got to see amazing overlooks over the whole city of Rome. We could see the stadium, the Vatican (somehow no matter where you are you can always see it!), and even the Jewish Temple in the distance. It was absolutely stunning.

After the tour the fun continued with lunch! The men that showed us the mark barbequed up pork sandwiches for us which were DELICIOUS. Served up on fresh Italian bread it hit the spot after a morning of hard work. And they were more than happy to give us seconds (and in some cases thirds!) Just when we thought the morning couldn’t get any better or tastier they brought out a HUGE box of pastries and desserts from the Sicilian bakery in Piazza Balduina. So good! We even grabbed a few to eat on the ride back. Let me tell you I never thought I would find myself covered in mud sitting in the back of a Jaguar eating sweets. But in Rome absolutely anything is possible!

Eating our dessert in the back of the Jag!

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