Now when I look back at the screenshot I took of the annual Phelps Scholar Program Detroit Trip’s itinerary, this is what I see:
7:40 a.m. – Students sign in for the trip in the Scott Hall Tomb. Pro tip: Make sure to always have a back-up plan for when you somehow manage to sleep through six alarms.
8:00 a.m. – Leave Holland. Breakfast (apples, muffins, granola bars, water bottles, etc.) provided on the bus. Make sure to keep a pillow handy because sleeping on the bus is quite a feat without one.
10:45 a.m. – Arrive at Holocaust Memorial. One of the most impactful, memorable experiences I’ve had from a PSP trip. It resembles a museum but is called a memorial to shine light on the millions of deaths caused by a regime of hate. The class split into two groups and followed the progression of Hitler’s control as well as learn the history and culture of the Jews. What struck me the most was a display of an antique box car that was originally meant to carry cattle and cargo but instead shipped Jews to concentration camps. Although it posed no danger, the object itself carried a devious, ominous, desperate air, reminiscent of its time. After the tour, we met with and heard the story of Mania Salinger, a holocaust survivor and the author of the book “Looking Back.” The 90-something year old lady enraptured us with tales of her gutsy decisions and the brutality of the concentration camps.
1:30 p.m. – Leave Holocaust Memorial.
2:10 p.m. – Arrive at Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine. As much as we enjoyed our visit to the memorial and Mrs. Salinger, our minds were consumed with food. We were entertained with authentic Cuban cuisine which ranged from fried plantains to a variety of rice dishes. They finished off the meal with the most delicious cake I have ever tasted (not exaggerating) called tres leches cake, a butter cake soaked with three kinds of milk.
3:45 p.m. – Leave Restaurant.
4:00 p.m. – Arrive at Charles Wright African American Museum. Whoever said that museums were boring can fight me. This was an entirely immersive experience, complete with interactive displays and life-size people. We split into our own groups and literally walked through history, starting from Africans taken from their beliefs, culture, and homes to slave ports up until the first black President.
(Sorry about the quality and if the video is sideways, it should be right-side up on your phones!)
5:00 p.m. – Leave Museum.
7:45 p.m. – Arrive in Holland.
It’s bittersweet knowing that this was our last trip together as the 2015-2016 Phelps Scholars, but it’s comforting to know that we are always welcomed to come back, year after year, to embark on these trips with future Phelps Scholars.