Six Weeks… A Recap

Miami Skies

(The sky, and clouds are unreal here at times)

(This song, and album has been some of the main music that has helped me through my YAV year. It reminds me of what the beach feels like, and what is like to drive around with the huge sky above. Hit play, and let it be the soundtrack to this blog).

Well hey there world, it’s been a while hasn’t it?

It’s officially been a month, and two weeks since I’ve started my life as a Y.A.V. in Miami. Things… have been interesting to say the least.

So far I’ve experienced so many things. It would be too many to name, but I’ll try my best.

To start it off let me tell you about the food in Miami. Whenever they say Miami is one of the most culturally diverse places in the U.S. they aren’t lying, and you can definitely tell with all the food options this place has to offer. There are so many flavors here that it’s unreal at times.

For instance; so far I’ve had the pleasure of tasting:

  • Cuban Food
  • Cuban Coffe (Colada!)
  • Venezuelan Food (Pepiitos!)


(Pepitos, a Venezuelan street food dish, which we’ve fallen head over heels for)

  • Haitian Food
  • Argentinean food

There are still so many things to try though like Puerto Rican, and Brazilian food. I’m really excited to dive into all these different cuisines because pretty much everything I’ve eaten has been super tasty.

Another thing that I’ve been doing a lot is going on a church tour every Sunday of all different kinds of churches the Miami area. We’ve done this for the past 6 weeks, and it’s been really fascinating just to see how all these different denominations do their worship. We’ve (YAV house and our site coordinator Michelle) experienced pretty much everything under the ginormous Christianity-denomination umbrella. For instance the first weekend here we went to an all-Spanish speaking Presbyterian church, and then last weekend we went to a Lutheran Church.


(The all-Spanish church service where I understood everything 100%.. and it just so happened to have been opposite day as well)

This has been a little tiring, but it really makes one think about what they want out of a church community, and service.

Another part of my YAV experience has been Community Day Fridays. On these days I’ve gotten to learn about crucially important things affecting the world. I’ve also got to volunteer at some pretty rad non-profits.

The things I’ve done regarding that:

  • Worshiped at a catholic soup kitchen, and then helped them feed the homeless afterwards.


(A statue of the Virgin Mary outside of the soup kitchen. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, but at least I got this!)

  • Learned about gentrification, and watch a video that talks about Wynwood, which is a super hip up-and-coming part of Miami (here’s the video if you want to watch:
  • We went to Easter Seals, which is a place that helps people with many different mental disabilities. While we there we helped with the part of it that deals with people with Alzheimers, and different levels of Dementia.

Now I bet you’re wondering what have I been doing while in Miami. When I came here I actually already knew what I would be doing, which was nice since at orientation a lot of the YAVs I talked to didn’t know what they would be doing. Since then though some things have transpired which have led me to not being associated with that non-profit anymore. I didn’t get fired or anything. It’s just that some things happened, and now I’m waiting for the next placement. Because of this I have had the opportunity to volunteer at a lovely non-profit called Branches, which is basically an after school program where I help kids with homework.

Besides that I’ve also gotten the chance to help DOOR with their Discover groups (a part of DOOR where they have groups come in for week long mission trips) like last week. During this time I was an assistant to my site coordinator Michelle, and helped her out with various things. I also got to go back to Easter Seals, which was kind of a heartbreaking experience since the people I met last time has no idea who I was even though we had like a two hour conversation, but more of that some other time!

Since this post is already getting kind of huge I’ll stop right now, but I’m going try my best to upload more so please stay tuned.  I’ll leave you though with this


Thanks for reading, and until next time have a great day!

P.S. If you’d like to donate to my Y.A.V. year then there is a nifty little donate section on my blog up top!
There you will find all the info on how to make a contribution! Thank you very much if you decide to do this. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.


An Introduction

An introduction 1

(About 3 A.M., and about to head to the front of Stony Point to hop on the shuttle to take me to the Airport)

So… hello world!

My name is Patrick Michael Quiring the First, and this is my blog about my experiences while serving down in Miami, Florida for a year through Y.A.V. YAV stands for Young Adult Volunteer, and it is done through the Presbyterian Church (USA). This will be used to document my year as a way of reflection, and to one-day look back on it with fond eyes as my memory might fade with the uninvited assistance of Father Time.

A little back story on me for people who have found this blog through DOOR, Ask Jeeves, YAV, Google, or any other way:

I hail from the glorious state known as Oklahoma where I’ve lived 98% of my life, and graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma (Put cho Hooves up!) this past May with a degree in Interdisciplinary studies, and a minor in Psychology. I love music, going to concerts, eating Chipotle, traveling, non-profits, photography, the creative arts, experiencing life, and many more things.

The YAV program I will be participating in will be an interesting journey. I’ve known many YAVs and my amazing brother was even one in Kenya back in 2008 (Hey RTQ!). Through that I’ve been told that everybody’s experience is different so I’m excited to see where this will lead me.

One of the main things I’m excited about is simple living, which is basically me, living on a much simpler budget than I’m used to. It also applies to how I will be living with a different mindset from back home. There’s also no dishwasher or garbage disposal so that should be fun. This shall be very interesting since I’ve never had to really live the way that I will be living this year.

If you were also wondering about what the YAV program in Miami is like then please check it out here!

So sit back, enjoy the ride, and please live vicariously through my tales!

Also, a part of the YAV program is that I have to raise 3,000 dollars by January 1st. I’ve raised some funds, but not the total amount. If you would like to donate to my cause then there are many ways you can do that.

The first option is that you can go here, and once there scroll a little ways down until you see the teal “donation” and “recurring donation” button. If you choose this option then please just make sure that you type in “Patrick Quiring- Miami, Florida” on it in the Donation Designation box.

The second option is to send in a physical check. To do that just send it in to the national DOOR office here: 430 W 9th Ave, Denver CO 80204

You can also make a personal check out to me if you’d like, and mail it my way. If you’d like the address then please feel free to E-mail me at

If you have any questions then please donate hesitate to ask!

Also, if you’re wondering why it’s not the YAV site you are being directed to it’s because YAV and DOOR have partnered up to provide services to the community they’re in.

Thank you to anybody who donates. I am forever grateful, and it means the world to me.

Thank you for venturing through my site!

Here is a little photo taken by my fantastic work site coordinator of my amazing housemates who I get to experience, and share this year with. My lovely housemates are Natalie from North Carolina, Shinhye from South Korea, and Qunten from Colorado just so you know who I am talking about in future posts. It’s taken in the Wynwood Art District, which is a phenomenal spot in Miami that has many beautiful murals.

Lastly, if you have any questions, or want to know more about anything then please don’t be afraid to contact me through here, Facebook, Twitter, or E-mail (!

Until next time!