In la playa we can build a sandman?

Sandman
I built this “snowman” yesterday while visiting the Virginia Key beach in Miami, FL.

It feels a little strange to be viewing blizzard photos and videos from friends in Washington, DC while sitting on a beach in Miami, FL. Today the temperature dropped to 45 degrees, which feels pretty chilly, but nothing compared to what folks are experiencing up north (or what I experienced while taking a lukewarm/cold shower in a log cabin without heat when I lived in Santiago, Chile…nothing like drying off with a hair dryer to keep you warm). That said, it also feels strange to see Floridians wearing wool hats and gloves when I’m not even wearing a coat.

Last weekend, South Florida Justice For Our Neighbors marched in Homestead/Florida City’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, and it was so sunny (and about 76 degrees) that I was pretty badly sunburned. That was our first mobile unit event with South Florida JFON. Even though our permanent mobile unit (the trailer we received as a donation a couple of weeks ago) is not quite ready for its debut, we are so excited to be able to provide free immigration legal services, education, and advocacy on the road!

MLK Day
Passing out South Florida JFON flyers and candy at the MLK Day festival following the parade through Homestead/Florida City.

We also held both our January board meeting and our January clinic on Tuesday. We ate Chipotle at our board meeting, and I didn’t get E.coli. Several of our faithful volunteers were unable to attend the clinic that evening, so the night was more stressful than usual. However, as always, I love meeting with our clients, and overall it was a great day!

South Florida JFON recently received the news that the American Bar Association has approved a $4,000 mini grant to support our work with unaccompanied minors! (I worked hard to get that grant completed before our last clinic, so I was really excited that we were successful!)

I’ve had a few adventures this week, too. I went to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and read “Letter from Birmingham Jail” while taking in the beautiful view of this lighthouse:

lighthouse other

We spent a fun evening eating dinner and playing games at the Presbyterian DOOR house.

I also had the chance to feed this sloth:

Sloth
Hanging around at Jungle Island

And I stumbled upon the world’s tallest sandcastle:

Sandcastle
Visiting the Virginia Key beach 

Today I stopped at La Pulga, a marketplace similar to those I visited in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Chile, for the first time. I was hoping to buy maracuyá (passion fruit) to make a smoothie for lunch, but sadly I left empty-handed.

La Pulga
This is the best picture I could get without being awkward and obvious.

I am already considering ways that South Florida JFON can engage in ministry there.

I am so grateful for opportunities to explore my new home. Miami is definitely a unique and beautiful place to live, and I look forward to what the rest of my time here will bring.

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