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As my trip is tipping toward the half way mark, Im amazed by how quickly time has passed. In the last month and a half I have met people and have had experiences that will have a lasting effect on my life. Im continually attempting to make sense of the passed events I have witnessed while volunteering with Maison de la Gare. Ive come to the realization that it will never make sense. How can I come to terms with having witnessed homeless children, hearing the whips of child abuse, at times having to turn away hungry kids, and witnessing children living in utter filth.Although Im still amazed each day by the enthusiasm ane warm smiles the children bring to the center. This has been the hardest and best work of my life. I cant help but to think how difficult it will be to leave each relationship and experience behind. Saint Louis has become my second home. Within the last two weeks I have had the unique experience of having the opportunity to share my volunteer work with my older brother. For the last three months he has been traveling in Spain and we grasped the opportunity for him to visit for two weeks. It has been amazing having someone so close to me be able to share laughs, thaughts, family, and everything Maison de la Gare has to offer. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by two of my greatest role models; my brother and Issa, the manager of Maison de la Gare.

The wind rolled off the ocean and through the small town. As the air hit your skin it sent chills through your body. Above, the night sky wad clear. Walking the streets you could feel the filth seeping from the town. Although it was 11 pm the streets were still lively. Clusters of goats populated the streets eating scattered garbage. Cats and dogs roamed and people were walking the streets. As we walked through the town, We all had one goal on our minds. To find homeless Talibes sleeping on the streets. Within the first 10 minutes we had reached our goal.

Ten dirty bodies were barley hidden underneath torn filthy clothes. Their arms and legs intertwining eachother in attempt to keep warm in the night air. As we woke each of them up, they all began scratching at their skin. Becoming once again concious of the dirt that covered their bodies. I have never seen so many young lives lacking nutrition and nuture. Their innocent lives have been stripped of opportunity and have been forced to provide and nurture for themselves.

with love, Mam Diara