Earlier this summer, I visited some of Greenheart’s Work and Travel participants in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. That day, a group of us participated in a Relay for Life event held at the local fairgrounds.
Due to heavy rain, the event was moved indoors, but we still managed to have a great turnout! Overall, we had eight of Greenheart’s participants attend, including the group pictured in this photo. At the event, our primary assignment was decorating and setting up luminaries, each of which was dedicated to a survivor of cancer or in remembrance of a loved one. While working on the luminaries, we also had the chance to meet and speak with a number of community members, all of whom had come out to take part in the event.
The participants I met told me all about their experiences working in Lake Geneva and visiting the United States for the first time. One participant told me about her American supervisor. She said that her supervisor served in the military, and she always kept everybody on their toes. Another group told me about a recent trip they took to Chicago. They showed me photos of their visit to Navy Pier and other places around the city. They said they had a great time and can’t wait to visit Chicago again. I told them that next time they come they should visit Greenheart’s office!
It was also fun to learn about what experiences were new to the participants. One participant, from China, told me that back home she lives in a big city and doesn’t see much wildlife. In Lake Geneva though, she liked living in an area full of trees and nature. She said she particularly enjoyed spotting new animals, like chipmunks and squirrels, which she’d never seen before.
It was great learning more about the Lake Geneva community through the participants’ unique observations and new experiences. I also loved volunteering with them and knowing that we were helping to support the local community. This visit made me realize that sometimes, the most valuable things in life are the experiences we have and the personal reflections we take away.