I'm posting this a few days late because I have been sleeping non-stop since we returned from Pittsburgh on Friday! I'll be writing this as if it was written Friday night, because it just makes more sense that way.
Today was our last day in Pittsburgh! It was a bittersweet morning. The boys had just begun to really open up and let loose. For the first time, they were hanging out with friends from other churches more than they were with each other. They had a competition going over who could get the most phone numbers to keep in touch throughout the Summer.
Our time at The Pittsburgh Project was short this morning. It mainly involved breakfast, packing, and cleaning! Our last morning Club centered around a video of all the various work groups and homeowners. Some students bought one, so be sure to watch it with them! I am putting together a video of our week together; it will be done this week!
We were out the door and headed towards downtown by 9:30. We landed at the North Shore, which gave us some great views of major Pittsburgh landmarks, including both Heinz Field and PNC Park. There is a really cool wading fountain where we dipped our toes for a little bit. We walked along the North Shore towards the Roberto Clemente bridge, which took us downtown. A quick Starbucks stop was quite welcome by then!
We proceeded towards Point State Park, or as Pittsburghers call it, "the Point." This is is where the three rivers of Pittsburgh come together. The Monongahela and the Allegheny Rivers join to form the third river, the Ohio. There is a giant fountain that shoots water 150 feet into the air, a major landmark for Pittsburgh. The Park is on historic grounds - home to two pre-Revolutionary forts, Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne.
We walked back into downtown for lunch at a Pittsburgh classic, Primanti Brothers. It is world famous for it unique and humongous sandwiches, which come with french fries, coleslaw, and a fried egg piled on top! It's as delicious as it is filling. If you're ever in Pittsburgh, make it a priority!
Bellies full, we kept walking towards Station Square and the famous Pittsburgh incline. After making across another bridge, we waited in line for about a half a hour to ride up the incline. What's an incline? Great question. It's basically a trolley car that goes straight up the side of a mountain. They were originally built in the 1800s for commuters coming from Mt. Washington (overlooking Pittsburgh) to their jobs in the city.
It was a pain to wait for the ride in the heat, but the outcome is worth it! We got an amazing view of the city. A great send-off for a great week. We took the subway back to the bus - we were exhausted! Five hours later, we were home on Kent Island! It truly was an amazing week. Please continue to pray for our students. A mission trip can be a life-changing experience, but that it is up to them to embrace the truths they learned and apply them to their lives as they get back to "normal". Pray that normal would not be the same. Pray for a new normal defined by a radical love for Christ and service in His name, for His Kingdom!
Danae is the Director of Youth Ministries at KIUMC. She has a B.A. in Culinary Arts and Service Management from Paul Smiths College in Paul Smiths, NY. She has attended KIUMC for the past 8 years. Danae enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, and is a complete Disney Fanatic.