This past week has been a very long, stressful and wonderful week all rolled together in one. Last Sunday was a long day for me. Due to team stuff to prepare for our first project, I was not able to go to church. We spent most all of the day together as a team trying to prepare for meetings on Monday and Tuesday before heading out on Wednesday.
Monday was induction--so now I am officially an AmeriCorps NCCC member. The speeches were good and somewhat moving. The rest of the day was spent in meetings. Tuesday was an insane busy day for me--we had cleaning like crazy to do and I needed to also pick up the tools for our project, then had a meeting in the afternoon and room inspections in the evening. If we (even one member of the team) did not pass the room inspections (including the bathrooms, lounges, and kitchen) we were not allowed to leave until it was corrected and reinspected. We also had our presentation in the morning, which went decently well. The room inspections passed with only a few minor issues to be corrected. But that night around 10 p.m. the water main broke in our building. It made for a very long and busy night right before leaving early in the morning on an eight hour drive. Wednesday was the travel day--a very long travel day. We had two vans to drive, the passenger van and a cargo van. Three times during the day the vans got separated from each other and one of them (the cargo van each time) got lost. The last two times we got lost, I was in the cargo van with Dave--the worst part was that my cell phone had died right as we got lost and Dave didn't have a cell phone at the time--so no way to really contact the other van. Thankfully we were able to find the other van without too much trouble.
Thursday was our first day on our project site. We are working and living at a state park with waterfalls similar to Ithaca, NY! Most of the day was spent in orientation and seeing different parts of the park. We came back to the ranger house that we are living in and worked in the afternoon clearing the yard and chopping some trees. We raked the leaves into a pile and burned them, the ranger working with us (Stuart) also told us that we could have campfires whenever we wanted. I smelled like wood smoke when we were finished working! It was so much fun!
But I think Friday, Saturday and so far today have been my favorite days this week. Friday we traveled to Cummins Falls, a newly acquired state park that we are building trails for. In the morning we were able to see the falls and climb down to them the old-fashion way--climbing down the rocks with a rope tied to the trees. I could and would do it every day! Then after lunch and a short-ish rain shower, we were trained on the basics of trail clearing. We spent the rest of the afternoon clearing part of the trail. A lot of hard work, but so rewarding. Saturday was a nice relaxing day for me. I was the first person up, so I decided to explore some of the trails around our cabin. Ended up going on over an hour long hike, came back, relaxed for a while, then did PT as a team. We did a caterpillar run (where the person on the end sprints to the front and sets the pace until the next person reaches the front). I was pretty happy that I almost made it to the end without slowing down---right before the last corner I needed to walk for a little bit, but I was hanging in there with some of the guys (Max, Kevin and Alex). I really enjoyed the challenge of PT. After supper, we played hide and seek in the dark. Our cabin is right next to the woods and most of the girls and some of the guys were scared with how dark and creepy it looked. That and I hid too good, we played it twice and they couldn't find me either time. It was so much FUN!! Today has been nice and relaxing as well. I have been enjoying being able to relax, not sure how often we will get weekends with nothing planned on them.
Looking forward to this next week, it will be hard work but also a lot of fun! Next time I hope to put some pictures up as well.