There’s just something about the beach that makes you want to keep going back again and again. A combination of the smells, the sounds, and the crowds creates a warm atmosphere that you embrace right away. I was super excited to go back there for a social excursion last weekend.
Last week, I worked with Kylie. That was different for me because I had never worked with her before and I wasn’t sure about her likes and dislikes and just communication with her as a whole. Looking back on it, however, I can say with my whole heart that it was a really fun experience.
The beginning of our day started with walking on the Boardwalk. Kylie didn’t want to go onto the beach and I couldn’t really figure out why. I never really did figure out why, which I learned was okay. Instead I saw that she was really loving walking around and going into stores and the arcade. It was fun strolling on the boardwalk and browsing through all the different stores. We were basically window shopping at lightning speed, and that was something I’d never experienced before. The best part of the whole thing was when she showed led me to a rack of dresses and pointed at the one in front. It was clear that she liked it and in that second, when she was pointing at the dress and looking at me, I felt really connected to her. She wanted to show me what she liked, like she was shopping with a friend. I was her friend. It was a truly special moment.
The second half of our beach trip was spent with Kylie’s brothers, Brandon and Blake, as well as her mom, Suzanne, two other wonderful women, Vanessa and Katie, and 3 more allies, Deeksha, Rohan, and Shreyansh. We went on some small rides, ate food, and just bonded as a team. The experience really brought out the family aspect of Pragnya because as allies, we weren’t just singing with the kids at session or helping them with homework . We were hanging out with them and their families, doing fun activities. The way in which we were enjoying our garlic fries together and making jokes with one another displayed a tight knit community between all of us, our differences aside. In my opinion, the second half of our Santa Cruz trip really displayed what we strive to achieve at Pragnya: acculturation and integration of these incredible individuals into our society and our circles.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was once again an incredible place for the Pragnya team to go on a social excursion. Our trip had some pretty amazing highlights. First of all, it was Brandon’s birthday! Also, it was a trip full of first times for both kids and allies. Smiren went on a ride for the first time and Ronnell built his first sandcastle. The beach boardwalk is so amazing partially because there’s so many things to do, that almost everyone finds something that they like.
Pragnya, for example, could enjoy a roller coaster with her ally because she loves the speed and energy it offers. Sanketa and Srinidhi took a different approach, chilling on the beach and having a relaxing and fun time. Most importantly, however, the beach is great because it is a setting where people can enjoy their time together. The beach boardwalk encourages interaction. There’s nothing like the thrill of sitting with your friends on a big roller coaster or splashing each other in the ocean’s waves. It was an ideal place to spend an ideal Saturday with all our friends at Pragnya!