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Thank God that my flight was able to make it to Miami on time despite all of the inclement weather that has been washing over the East Coast for the past month. I was ready to take on Miami no matter the weather conditions. The University of Miami was very different from Duke in both good and bad ways. The good being the aesthetic that the campus holds is stunning and the bad being getting eaten up by incognito mosquitoes when you stand outside for more than one minute. Room setups were also different from what I’m used to but I’m here because adaptability is one of my qualities, am I right?

Little Havana

After getting settled in and acclimated to the campus environment once again, we started exploring the real Miami, not the touristy South Beach. We started off with going to the famous Cuban restaurant, Versailles, which was good although my food came out when it was time to leave (side note: that’s happened three times in this first week, so I must have some Miami curse). Little Havana was very different from what I imagined Miami to be even though I’ve already been and I’m glad that it was the first area that I visited. The reason being is that the authenticity that was in the atmosphere made me feel as though I was in a different country.

Little Havana

Boujee Brickell

On my last free day, I took a trip to Brickell to eat lunch and there was an evident disparity between it and Downtown. Clearly, it has been super gentrified and I was surprised that Calle Ocho, which we were on in Little Havana, was right beside Brickell but it looked totally different. These moments made me realize that the income gap that we discussed in the readings is a very pressing issue here in Miami. It is sad to see the abundance of poverty while people who live in Brickell just move on about their lives, leaving the impoverished voiceless and invisible.

This is the same street that runs through Little Havana, however, this is in Brickell.


I love my job at the Catholic Charities Legal Services! Although I’m not interested in pursuing law, working on these enthralling cases is enjoyable and a learning experience. The fact that I get to know about all that goes on in the office makes me feel like I’m in a television show like “Law and Order”. Prior to DukeEngage, I did not know anything about to immigration process here and, within three whole days, I have learned so much and I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to participate in this DukeEngage program.

Wynwood Walls