Writing The Self #3: The Children’s Discovery Center

I can’t see. The sun is shining through the windows and going directly into my eyes. I put my hands over my eyes and turn away from the windows to realize that I am on the floor. I lay on the carpet for a moment confused until I remember that I am not at home; I am in Hawaii. I get my bearings and remember what we are doing today. I quickly jump up and put shorts and a t-shirt on. I shared the room with my brother but I knew better than to wake him up, so I quietly open the door and go to the kitchen. Everyone in my family is already awake and chatting in the kitchen so I decide it is safe to stop creeping around. My brother joins us about 10 minutes later. As soon as we all finish eating our breakfast, my mom briefs us on what we are doing today. She tells us that we are going to a place called “The Children’s Discovery Center”.

I sit and just wait for my mom and dad to do whatever things they had to do to prepare five children for a trip to some sort of museum. We leave our Airbnb and get into the car that my parents were renting for the trip. We are on our way. Me and my siblings spend the time jamming to music and noticing the beautiful scenery as we drive. We arrive at the center and find a place to park .That’s when I notice something peculiar.

I ask my mom if this place is super busy or something because some people were camping on the street next to it. Actually, a lot of people were camping on the street next to the center. My mom tells me that they are homeless. I’ve never seen homeless people before so I can’t help but stare a little too long before my mom smacks my arm and tells me to stop staring. I notice that these people are struggling to even live while we are indulging ourselves with a trip to Hawaii. I don’t have any money to give to any of these people, but I do have a bottle of water with me. I run over to a man sitting on a blue tarp with a small dog next to him. I don’t know what type of dog it is because it looks like a mixture of a bunch of breeds. I give him the water, he thanks me with a smile, and I run back to my family. People that work at the center greet my family at the door and give me a weird look before quickly switching to smile and saying hello. My parents pay for us to go in, and the man with the dog quickly disappears from my sight.

2 thoughts on “Writing The Self #3: The Children’s Discovery Center

  1. Reading your post, the first thing I wondered was, how did you get stuck sleeping on the floor? You must have got the short end of the stick! I enjoyed how you described the confusion of waking up and not realizing where you are at first. You explained so vividly I felt like I was there with you. I could imagine waking up in that situation, especially when you said how you put you hand over your eyes to block the sun. The only way I could see you improving this is just adding more descriptive detail like colours, sounds, smells, etc. Overall though, you did a very great job of painting a picture and sharing your story.
    Something compelling about your story is how you simultaneously show the privileges you have and experience through your trip, with the experience of noticing the homeless crisis at the same time. I’ve been on two warm holidays, and both times it was hard to look away from the reality of the places we were. When we went to Jamaica, you could see the conditions of their housing, and we would slip hard-boiled eggs into our pockets and give them to the workers at the resort after hearing that they don’t get to have the same access to food. I had almost forgotten about this until I read about you giving water to those in need. This past year when travelling from the airport to resort in the Dominican Republic, it was crazy to contrast the show the resort puts on versus the condition of the countryside.
    I think in both of our posts, we can see how we didn’t realize how fortunate we are until we were forced to. I feel this is such a normal thing for many children who share these privileges. Great post, thank you for sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

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