My name is Martin Moore and I am a freshman at Chaminade University. I have not blogged before so please bare with me as I write. I also tend to write what comes to mind, thus I apologize for future reference if my posts are grammatically incorrect.
Just to give you a little background on me, I was born on an island in the Pacific Ocean called Saipan. It is actually a U.S. Territory. Two years of life, and my family and I moved to suburban Pennsylvania where I spent ten more years of public school and suburban life. It was after my father unfortunately passed away when my mom decided to move back overseas to her home island in the Pacific called Palau. I attended a Catholic Mission school for my 8th grade year and then attended a Jesuit school on another island. It was after I graduated in 2012 that I decided to attend Chaminade.
When I was asked to come on this trip, I was all for it. I really love to travel and I am always open to a new experience. A few days later I got word of who else would be going to the L.A. BreakOut and I did not know any of these people: Kristeme, Cassin, and Brandi. After a few meetings and an awkward Skype call with the other schools, I began calling these "people" my friends. As dead week and exam week began we each started counting down how many days it would be before we end up in Los Angeles.
I personally did not have any idea of what to expect for this trip. My advisor for the trip was also "going with the flow" because it was also his first year going to Los Angeles for this trip and all of us just went off of last year's schedule. We utterly came into this experience completely blind, yet so openminded. Last night we spent our time together playing games and icebreakers. It was fun laughing together. At almost 10 p.m. we shared a delicious dinner together with good conversation.
This morning, after sluggishly woke up and brushed my teeth and washed my face, got dressed and went down to eat breakfast. It feels good to wake up to coffee and cereal with a side order of laughter and smiled with the others. After about twenty minutes of chitchat and Wheaties we cleaned up and moved to the chapel where we waited for Danny, Moe, and Chris. Moe came in and told us we were meeting in the conference room, so we walked up there.
Personally, I really value diversity. With that being said, I do really value the conversation that goes on between us because it is really interesting to see how we all think because we all come from different places, we were all raised differently, yet we are all Marianists. It is really intriguing to me.
After our discussion of schools, expectations, and anxieties, we got ready and headed to El Pueblos for a Hispanic mass. The area around the church was packed. I learned not to have expectations because expectations can lead to disappointment and disappointment is not wanted nor is it welcome. After being greeted in Spanish by the ushers, we saw ourselves to two pews. I sat down and looked up and saw a beautiful and colorful arrangement in the front of the church. It was absolutely gorgeous. In all honesty, I had no idea what was being said in mass. The only thing I understood was the sign of the cross. Being in a new and different place made me so keen on my surroundings and what it was happening. It was at the Sign of Peace when I saw God. It sounds cliche and all but I'm serious. You know how there are some people who give the sign of peace because they have to and you can feel it in their hand shake that it is not that sincere? well, There some Spanish people seated in front of us and one lady, in a red wool dress looked at me with friendly eyes and a wide smile with a tight handshake she said "La Paz" and it warmed my heart to see that. It made me realize where I was. I was not just in Los Angeles, I was not just away from home, I was not just on the LA BreakOut trip, I was in church, I was in the House of The Lord, with my Marianist brothers and sisters. I was in the moment. I was right where I needed to be when I needed to be.
I will update you guys later. It's getting pretty late, so I think I'm going to knock out.