By Leah Moradi
Today, we began the day continuing our adventures in Denver. We loaded the bus and took a short drive to the Food Bank of the Rockies to learn about food insecurity and the process of distributing food to communities in Colorado. We met with the food bank’s Corporate Relations Manager, Mitch Jelniker, and began our extensive tour of the facility. We learned about the food bank’s efforts to reduce food waste, which is achieved through grocery stores donating their leftover goods to the food bank. Mr. Jelniker explained to the group how the pandemic has impacted Colorado residents and that today 1 in 7 adults are food insecure, compared to 1 in 10 pre-Covid.
Despite the difficultly learning about the extensive lack of resources in a country full of abundance, we were encouraged by the reminder that every dollar donated can provided four meals to people who need them.
After leaving the food bank, we made our departure from Denver and had a quick drive into Boulder. I think it is safe to say that the scenery along the ride was one of the most breathtaking and impressive yet. Then, the bus dropped us off on Pearl Street where we had time to grab lunch and do some shopping. Billy was very generous today and gave us two hours of free time!
Following a filling lunch and an enjoyable time browsing stores along the Pearl St Mall, we prepared ourselves for a relaxing yoga session at the Buddhist college, Naropa University. Here, we met up with our instructor and set up our yoga mats in the shade of a tree on campus. Our instructor led us through downward dog, planking, child’s pose, warrior II, tree pose, and countless others. We were able to relieve our stresses and enjoy the beautiful (not humid) weather of Colorado. Regardless of if we followed the instructor or took a nap on the mat, I think it is safe to say that we all felt rejuvenated at the end of the hour!
After, Billy gave us a brief lesson on Beatniks and the famous poet Allen Ginsberg. We learned about the motivation and aspirations of the Beatniks who used literature and art as a form of societal rebellion and self-expression. Relaxed and all stretched out, we climbed on the bus and buckled up for a long ride to the Cowboy State, Wyoming.
Once we arrived in the small Wyoming town of Laramie, we were given more free time to grab some dinner before getting back on the bus for a few more hours. On the bus ride to the hotel, we ended our day by watching the movie Bowling For Columbine, directed by Michael Moore, which gave us more background on guns and gun violence in America. Finally, after hours of driving through the empty fields of Wyoming, we arrived at our hotel and began preparing for another fun day on Etgar 36!