Monday, March 26, 2012

Week 2

3-12-12 (Monday)
We had lecture all morning about the different dangers of mucking and gutting houses that have been affected by a disaster.  Most of it was review for me.  After lunch we were able to go to a couple of houses that were flooded last year and work on them.  Not only were we doing the mucking out, but we also started working on the rebuilding by replacing some of the rotten studs.

3-13-13 (Tuesday)
All day was spent in lecture.  Tuesday was a very big night for us--that is when we found who is on our permanent teams.  We were told a charade to act out (a taxi cab driver) and to find all the other people that were acting out the same charade.  Then we were sent on a scavenger hunt to find out who our team leader was and where he was hiding.  It was fun and frustrating at the same time.  I only knew a few of my new team members.  After getting some help from one of the other team leaders (one of our clues was stolen), we finally figured out where our team leader was hiding.  I was happy to find out that our team leader is Max.  He is laid-back and likes to find humor in every situation.  After a team meeting, some of the team went shopping for food for the next couple of days.  I made the mistake of going with them--we were out shopping until 11 pm.

3-14-12 (Wednesday)
Wednesday started out bright and early with physical training in the morning.  Afterwards we had a fun day doing Hands of Peace as a new team.  Hands of Peace is a training tool to help teams build unity and community.  I really enjoyed the day.  We also came up with a working draft of our team charter (rules to live by as a team).  In the afternoon I was told that I would be moving rooms earlier than the rest of the campus.  So I packed up and was moved a few hours later.  The nice part is that I already knew my new room-mate.

3-15-12 (Thursday)
Instead of being in class all day, we volunteered around the community.  My team ended up working at the local Salvation Army.  Most of us worked outside clearing some logs and brush that the Salvation Army volunteers had already cut down.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to work outside all day.

3-16-12 (Friday)
Physical training in the morning was fun.  We went around the gym as a team and did different things at different stations.  It was challenging but fun.  That night we also had room changes, but I didn't need to switch rooms again, which was nice to not have to do again.

I know that this is about a week out of date--but just so you guys know, in a couple of days we will be heading out on our first project.  We will be working in Pikeville Tennessee at two state parks.  At Fall Creek Falls State Park we will be maintaining trails, and at Cummins Falls State Park we will be clearing new trails in preparation for the park opening.  I am super excited about working at both parks, they have waterfalls that rival Ithaca!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Week One Continued...

3-7-12 (Wednesday)
We had PT at 6 a.m. this morning.  I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I was going to.  Afterwards, after a shower and breakfast, we had several different classes though out the day.  Some of the classes were on the power of words/language, discrimination and sexual harassment, health and nutrition.  One of the highlights of my day was watching a NBA game, Atlanta vs Miami.  It was a very close game and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the second half of it.

3-8-12 (Thursday)
Have been very sore today due to PT yesterday, but it is a good kind of sore.  Went through an all day CPR/AED/First Aid class with the Red Cross and now am certified for the next 2 years.  Sadly, there have been some issues with my current team.  We have not been able to get into a rhythm as a team, instead it is more like a group of individuals.  Part of the problem is that our current team leader has not been a very active part of the team due to some team leader issues that he has needed to deal with.

3-9-12 (Friday)
PT this morning was canceled due to thunderstorms last night.  So that meant that I was able to sleep in a little bit longer.  We had an all day class with the Red Cross based on disaster response and setting up a shelter.  I found it interesting, although most of the people found it boring.  It got me excited to come back home and volunteer with the local Red Cross and get new certifications and stay up to date on my current ones.

I know that I haven't been able to update this daily, but as a forewarning, when I am out on projects, I will probably not have access to a computer.  Therefore I will try to keep this as up to date as possible, but no promises.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Week One...

3-1-12 (Thursday)
I started today off with a run early in the morning, trying to get ready for when physical training (PT) starts.  After breakfast, we went into classrooms and had training on how to respond to disabilities.  After lunch, we went to a local cemetery to learn about tool safety and to clean up the cemetery.  Tool training consisted of a quick overview of what the tools are and what they are used for.  Most of the tools are garden/landscape tools such as axes, rakes, shovels, shears and that type of thing.  Then we worked for a couple of hours clearing brush in the cemetery.  Afterwards we came back to the campus that we are staying on, cleaned up the tools, ate supper and relaxed for most of the rest of the evening.

3-3-12 (Saturday)
Yesterday was just a day of training...don't remember exactly what happened that day.  In the morning we helped volunteer at a local 10k run with a 5k walk.  It was in the Vicksburg Military Park and was called the "Run through History".  After helping with the run, we came back to campus, had lunch, relaxed for a while, then went on a scavenger hunt as a team.  We drove all over Vicksburg getting pictures of different places.  one of the places that we stopped at was a nice little coffee shop with an art gallery upstairs.  Another stop that I enjoyed was the Tomato Place.  The Tomato Place is a mix of a farmers stand, an outdoor restaurant and a smoothie place.  (I had Heavenly Blues, which was a blueberry and yogurt smoothie, it was delicious!)  Once we were finished with the scavenger hunt, we tried to find a place in town to eat dinner as a team.  We ended up going to a small Italian place with a gourmet dessert place next door (it was at a strip mall).  I was too full to get dessert, but instead saw the large teddy bear next to the front door.  It was about half my size--I had to give it a big hug--the guys teased me, asking what I would do if it suddenly hugged me back.  I told them that I would just give it a bigger hug then.  After coming back to campus for the night, I ended up watching The Nightmare Before Christmas with my room-mate and another girl.  By the end of the movie, all three of us were falling asleep, so we cleaned up and headed to bed.

3-4-12 (Sunday)
I was able to go to a Baptist church service in the morning, which I really enjoyed.  In the afternoon, most of my team went back to the Tomato Place, had food and smoothies and hung out for a while.  In the evening we were reassigned to different temporary teams that will last until next Tuesday when we will find out our teams for the rest of the year.

3-5-12 (Monday)
Today started bright and early...needed to be at the military park at 6 am for baseline training for PT.  We stretched as a group, then were timed on how many push ups we could do in a minute as well as how many sit-ups in a minute.  We were allowed to modify the push ups and sit ups, so I ended up doing crunches and half push ups.  I did about 30 of each in the 2 minutes.  Then was my favorite part (NOT), the 1.5 mile run/walk.  I am proud of myself, I was able to do it in almost 16 minutes.  The rest of the day was spent in diversity training.