Day 5 – Today

By Skylar De Paul, Mosaic Staff

Today, one of my editors saw us high school kids sitting around our dorm on our phones and decided we needed to go out and see the real world. At 8pm, he told us to grab our jackets for his “nightlife tour of downtown San Jose.”

Today, I visited a gay bar (I didn’t go inside chill out mom) and spoke to the 23 year old manager about the post-Orlando feelings among the gay community. He told us his bar would stay open no matter what, because they’re not afraid of who they are or what they face.

Today, I came across a small parade in honor of the Copa América where people held up their flags and danced with drums and sang in the street while people drove by and honked and sang along.

Today, I talked to a homeless couple on a corner who moved here from Arizona. We asked them why they chose not to take advantage of local shelters, and the wife said the shelters in the area put her and her husband in different wings, but she gets night terrors, and they can’t bear to be separated and would rather live on the streets. She has a masters degree in computer science. She can’t get a job because she’s in her late 60s and no one will hire her. Her husband seemed mentally unstable. Her friend sitting next to her was a Vietnam vet and an ex fireman who lived in a tenement. They were joined with a 20 year old girl named Marci, whose mom was murdered and whose dad goes in and out of prison.

Today, I saw a beautiful woman get cat-called on the street walking out of a nice restaurant. I’m happy for the four years of Spanish that I got, but I really wish I hadn’t understood that.

Today, our group was approached by a man who offered us a book on Christianity and said “always remember John 14.” We walked away, but my friend turned around later and watched him carry out a drug deal from his backpack.

Today, I got back to my dorm at 11pm rather than sitting on my phone. Today, I cried a little more than I expected to. Today, I learned a lot about the world.


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