Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sorry for the late post!

Hey all! Internet is so infrequent that I haven't really gotten the chance to update! This month has been a whirlwind! It's so crazy how much need is still in the area, there are still a ton of homes that haven't even been opened since the flood yet and there are so many obviously uninhabitable homes that need to be taken down. Our team has been working with a local organization called Southern Valley recovery as well as Schoharie Area Long Term in hopes of getting to get these two organizations to work together to combine the skilled labor with the funding in order to create an even better recovery. So far, our team has demoed one trailer, demoed a trailer, demoed a trailer, demoed an outside room an porch of a home, took out and replaced a septic tank at our housing and also went into demoing another trailer. Unfortunately we discovered that there is mold under the carpet in this trailer so, abiding by NCCC rules that say we can go into places with mold, I think that we won't be able to completely demo this trailer.
   Since we live in the community food pantry, every Monday and Friday we help to bring in the donations from Wal-Mart and every Friday we help to give out the food to people who come to the pantry.
   Thursday we went caving for my team leader's birthday! It was fun, but I chickened out at the halfway point (still trying to get over my slight fear of tight spaces heh)
    It's starting to get a bit colder here, I'm hoping that I'll be out of the east coast before the snow hits!
My application for FEMA Corps is rolling through, it's a waiting process once again at this point.
 I know this isn't as detailed as usual, sorry! Blogging is definitely harder than I originally thought! If I put too much it won't be read, if I put too little I know I'm not describing everything. However if you do have questions, feel free to email me!

                                                                       Until Then,
                                                                     <3 Heather G

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Last round!

  I know it's been awhile since I've posted! I got back from disaster deployment saturday night and stayed at perry point until yesterday. Soon I'll post journal entries I kept from while on deployment (they're quite lengthy so I haven't been able to type them all up yet).
   Anyways, yesterday we left for our last project for the year. We are currently (and will be staying for the next 7 and a half weeks) in Schoharie County, NY which is about 60 miles west of Albany. We are working with an organization called Schoharie Area Long Term (SALT) as well as several other grassroots disaster recovery groups. We are helping to repair (as well as demo) homes that were affected or destroyed by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee last year. Schoharie County is made up of a lot of small farming towns, so we are really rural but the people here already seem super nice and I'm looking forward to be actually getting into the community this round.
   Since last year's storms have made its way out of the news headlines for some time now, it's easy to think that everyone just came together and got everything fixed, but this area still needs a lot of help. There are so many homes that are still in the process of being rebuilt and some homes haven't even been touched because of inaccessibility. A lot of homeowners that lived along the creek that flooded now live in tent trailers or FEMA trailers. One of our sponsors took us on a tour of the north part of the county and showed us where homes and trailer parks used to be that are now wide open spaces because they were washed out. It's really hard to imagine the scale of devastation that occurred, but you can see from the people who tell their stories that it's very vivid in their minds. Our team is definitely glad to be able to help.
   Today we started the process of demoing a house! It's really good to know that every ounce of effort put into this community is going to make a real difference. This is definitely a good project and we are also making a documentary of our team and the disaster recovery organizations in the area. 
   We are definitely in the country, people drive their tractors on the road, one of these days we may be stuck behind a horse and buggy because of the Amish communities up here, there are a ton of little small towns with hills and farmlands. I love this area though it's beautiful! There are also a ton of waterfalls and the stars here are so clear.
  As we progress in this project I will update more!
                                                                         Until Then,
                                                                    <3 Heather G

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Turn of events!!!!

  So Wednesday I recieved news that I would be deployed on disaster! I left on a flight to memphis on thursday and drove down to Hattiesberg, Mississippi. Things have been really crazy right now! Yesterday my team (my disaster team) did bulk distribution yesterday in Gulfport (chaos in itself) and right now we;re waiting to drive to Wilkinson County, Mississippi to see if Red Cross relief efforts are needed there as Red Cross hasn't been in contact with the county so who knows what we'll run into.
    My phone broke (yet again, I shouldn't even own a pone anymore) but I bought a camera so at least I have a way to take pictures. I'm getting a really good experience here and already learning a lot (especially to be VERY flexible) keeping an up to date journal of this deployment so I'll be more detailed when I have more time and internet, which I'm not sure when that will be.

                                                                      Until Then,
                                                                  <3 Heather G.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A waiting game (no-go on disaster)

   I was super pumped to be able to get to go help with shelters! Myself and another teammate who was going were all packed up to go... but unfortunately American Red Cross' travel agent couldn't book our flights in time before the airports closed down. Definitely a major let-down. There's the possibility of going after the storm hits but I say it won't happen as this storm will be pretty small when it does hit (which is good for everyone who lives there of course). But this is how disaster deployments go, always hurry up and wait (we were waiting all day to go!) and sometimes, no matter what organization you're with, things happen and you won't get to go down and help. Nothing to do about and while a bummer, I will try to focus my energy towards our last project, which is still dealing with disaster, just in a different way. My time will come be it this year or in FemaCorps, and one day I will be able to go down south, whether it be disaster related or not.
   The good thing is that Hurricane Issac will only be a CAT 1 storm and the affected areas seem very prepared which is awesome.
    For now, I will be spending two weeks at the Point for fall break (4 days) and transition. We deploy out to our projects on September 12th. A busy couple weeks ahead.

                                                                         Until then,
                                                                     <3 Heather G

Monday, August 27, 2012

A new adventure begins...

  In a few short hours, (or maybe an hour, I literally have no idea) myself and another teammate will be on a flight to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for disaster preparation. I'm not sure at all what I'll be doing, all I know is that I'm going. This is what I've been waiting for all year since joining Americorps, going to the South is a definite plus as I've always wanted to go. Hopefully this storm won't be too bad, I've been reading news articles about how similar the path is to Katrina which is eerie to think about as we are two short days from the anniversary of the catastrophic storm. Luckily predictions seem to be well below the strength of that storm. It'll be interesting to be in the area, my dad was in Mississippi doing search and rescue when Katrina hit which was really the event that sparked my interest in the disaster field.
  Nobody is sure how long this deployment will be, it really depends on the outlook of this storm, it could be from a couple days to a few weeks, depending on if this storm becomes hurricane or not. I'm really looking forward to being able to see disaster preparation and then come back to my team and project to see the disaster recovery projects by helping to fix homes in disaster areas from last year's storms.

That's all for now, I'm told that we'll be flying out today and then staying in a hotel tonight (a hotel? what's that? maybe I should break out the cot to make it feel like home haha) It's all a waiting game right now someone from red cross is supposedly coming to do our paperwork and i think that's what we are waiting on.

                                                         Until Then,
                                                      <3 Heather G

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We are going...

 To a place called Schoharie,NY (which is a county). We will be doing disaster recovery from last year's storm damage. We are working with An organization named SALT (Schoharie Area Long Term) we will be helping to renovate homes and make them livable to homeowners.  \
  This will be an intensly cool project, but at the same time, I'll admit that I'm worried about being so far from just about everything. This is a very rural project, which means no internet on site, limited cell service (which for me, means no service since I have lame Metro PCS) and also limited transportation. I am interested to see however if this area is one of those cutesy small towns with a main street, which if that's the case, it'll be a really neat area.  We will be staying in a church in the area.
  I'm definitely looking foward to the clear meaning in the project and since we're doing disaster recovery I'll get to see this side of things before getting into 9(hopefully) FEMA Corps.
   Well, that's it for now! I'll update later as it is pretty late!

                                                    Until Then,
                                               <3 Heather G

Back in the Americorps life!

  Well technically I've been back since last Tuesday night (such a long plane ride). It was definitely good to be home and be with family for the week, now I'm ready to get back into the swing of all things AmeriCorps NCCC.
  Currently, I am in Baltimore, Maryland (yes, again) working with City Neighbors Charter School. We've been on this project for almost 3 weeks now with mostly a lot of painting, and, as I am a bit hesitant to say, moving a TON of heavy furniture (this may or may not get me an unwanted leg up in helping people move.... haha) 
  For this project, we are staying in what's known as the Annex building of the school. It's huge compared to the places we've been living! A couple of my teammates share a room, a couple have there own room, one chose to sleep in the closet, and another teammate and I are sleeping out in the open area, which happens to have about 20 or so sofa chairs of which we combined two to makeshift a bed instead of using cots. (which happen to be quite comfy)
  The charter school in itself is a huge facility! It's got the feel of a private school than a public school (which makes me a bit jealous from my own elementary/high school facilities)   One reason for this is that there is a TON of furniture such as couchers, sofa chairs, coffee table, etc. in a building that has a total of FIVE floors.
   My team has started up a game called Assasin, we drew names today and then declared a 'weapon' to 'assassinate' our person, no one knows who the other has and the object of the game is to 'asssassinate your person without anyone (player or random bystander) seeing, if you succeed, you then move on to 'assassinate' whoever's name you got from the person you just 'assassinated'. This goes on until you are eventually the last one left standing. As of right now, I'm still in the game , we'll see how long that lasts though....
   Football game on Friday! I'm pretty excited, still trying to decide if any use of face paint should be involved on this day.
   Also, it's about that time again, we should know where our final project is in the next few days. I'm nervouse yet excited at the same time. We're all really hoping for a big city project.
  I still can't believe that there's  just three short months until this service year is up, it's crazy how fast it's gone by! I filled out my FEMA Corps application for February of next year, just need to add a few more things and send it in. Apparently I can't get enough of this volunteer life. Crossing fingers that I'll get in!
   Anyways, sorry about how random this blog post is! I'll update again when we know where we're going!
                                                                   Until Then,
                                                                 <3 Heather G


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to California

So I arrived in Sacramento on Tuesday, longest morning of my life! I had my cousin Amanda pick me up from the airport so that I would have the chance to surprise my family since they thought I would be coming in on Wednesday. Success! I'm really glad I get to spend this week with my family, even if  the reason of me being home isn't the best of circumstances. I'm definite;y keeping busy trying to put off the weirdness of family stuff.
 One thing for sure, I absolutely do NOT miss my team, I NEVER EVER want to see them again!!!!.......... dangit.... ok maybe I might, just a bit.....
The weather here is definitely nice, supposedly its been in the 100s the past couple days, to me it feels nice! It's not humid, I'm not soaking in sweat. I'm definitely finding it difficult to just sit around doing nothing for a long period of time, which isn't a bad thing I suppose.
 I find myself feeling so much different than when I first came into AmeriCorps, I feel older, more sure of myself, more appreciative (it's a bit odd when I realize there aren't 7 other people in the house with me).
   I bought football tickets today! My teammate are going to see the Lions vs. the Ravens on the 17th in B'more (we're rooting for the Lions).
  My teammate has got me on a 'try at least two new foods a week' thing, so far I've tried mango (good), kiwi (also good), grapefruit(too bitter), pickled beets (pretty good), and the other day I tried crab soup which I enjoyed, surprisingly as usually I don't go near seafood.
 When I got back to my Mom's place I went through and tried on alll my clothes, I fit into things that I haven't been able to for a few years! Definitely motivation to get on track to being even healthier!
  I'm trying to get my new healthy eating habits into my family, but I don't think they're having much of it (I'll keep trying it though haha!)
  That's all for now! I'm doing so horribly at this lately but I'll try to stay more consistent with this now that things are a bit less hectic!
                                                          Until then,
                                                       <3 Heather G

Saturday, July 21, 2012


     This past time was quite a hectic one! Last Friday we had tool training with Habitat For Humanity (I did use power tools, however I'm still pretty nervous of them!) Working with Habitat, we work on Saturdays, so our duties for the day includes a bunch of landscaping jobs. Sunday and Monday was our weekend, which was unusually laid back, definitely good to have every now and then. My teammate had me watch The Matrix, as I had never seen it before, no lie! I apparently have just not lived life yet!On Tuesday, we worked at a different habitat site, where we helped to frame some on a home. This Habitat (Habitat For Humanity New Castle County) is one of the more active Habitats in the region because they build what are known as 'row homes' which i suppose on the West Coast you could relate it to city town home. The humidy and heat over hear tends to get a bit unbearable for construction, so for the last part of the day we worked on clean up jobs. On Wednesday, the team and I headed back to Perry Point to prepare for a presentation that was to be on Thursday in Washington DC. Thursday, we headed to DC to present our team to the NCCC advisory board at the CNCS (Center for National Community Service) headquarters. It was quite a whirlwind of an experience, meeting all these CEOs who wanted to know more about the team, where we were from, what we planned to do. I imagine it must be quite a thrill to get to see the effects of all the behind the scenes work put in to get people involved in service. I also came face to face with the selections placement person who had been the one to call all the latecomers to the Perry Point region, meaning I got to put a face to a voice on the phone the morning of the day I had been accepted which was pretty cool. On Thursday afternoon we headed back to Delaware, where we relaxed until the next work day. Yesterday, we worked back with Habitat For Humanity, where we learned how to put up firewall, which are walls installed on these homes which would give the next house a 2 hour evacuation time before a fire in the house next to it would come in contact with their home. Which brings me to today, where we worked on cleaning up and putting finishing touches on homes that are just about to be moved into. 
           Tomorrow we will be volunteering in Dover, Delaware, serving food at a booth at the Firefly music festival which has artists like, The Killers, the Flaming Lips and Girltalk among many others. Though we will be working the whole time (with drive time, a total of about 14 hours) I hope to at least hear some pretty cool music.
   Monday, we will be doing a volunteer project working on trails. No laid back weekend this time!
  We're in Delaware until Saturday, then we head to Baltimore.  About a week and a half I'll be flying home for a week, which will be good but at the same time pretty emotional. I can't wait to see my family though and tell them of my travels and the things I forget or don't make sense to put in a blog post.
  I'm currently on a track to eat even more healthy and lose some more weight, I'm easing back into running after a 3 week hiatus of consistently running.  I definitely and feeling healthier now that I'm adding a ton more fruits and veggies into my eating habits (so watch out family I'll be trying to fill up your fridges with the stuff heehee)
    I know that I haven't been going into detail too much, there's so much to tell and not enough time to write it all! (or too much to write, which means too long to read)
    My teammate is wanting to get me to broaden my tastes in food, so I've agreed that every time we go grocery shopping, that I'll get at least two foods that I've never tried before, Maybe I shall put that as an in-between blog post. Who knows? This life is too crazy/
   I definitely feel myself getting older, it's weird to think that the person I was before Americorps won;t be the same person coming back (don't worry, I'm still the same person in the most important ways) I've never changed so much in such a short span of time, it's odd but good. My team is a major factor in broadening what I know, see, sense, taste, all that good stuff. As many times as I get frustrated, no matter how many times I may fall (figuratively and literally, I tend to trip more than the average person), I know my team will be there to pick me back up (in the figurative way, in the literal way it's mostly  laughing which is fine because I laugh too tripping is just a part of my life that will never go away, if you know me you understand fully). It's definitely comforting to have that support, being so far from home.  
     Well, that's all I have for now! Like I always say, I'll try to stay more updated, more detailed, but I can't promise anything! Life is crazy and unexpected but I'll stay in touch!
                                                             Until Then,
                                                          <3 Heather G
              (PS, I found that, after years of avoiding the stuff, I actually like yogurt! As pushed by said teammate who also got me to watch the Matrix and also is trying to broaden my food tastes, some jerk, right? haha)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sorry it's been so long

I've been really busy in the past few weeks and  haven't had constant internet in awhile! We finished up in Hamden, woodchipped and mulched quite a bit towards the end as well as dealt with intense heat and humidoty towards our last week. The last night with the YMCA staff turned disasterous (but laghable) as we had our celebration night, which was to include swimming in the pool that had just been repaired, a pipe burst! My team and the YMCA staff worked side by side dumping out water by many many buckets in order to get to the pipe to see what the problem was. All in all we still had fun and the YMCA was very appreciative of our work which was really nice to hear after all the tensions and challenges our team had faced during the round. My camera also broke mid round! It was bound to happen though, as my electronics tend to not last in Americorps. But now I have my video camera that also takes pictures so I can once again record my journey.
   After our Connecticut proiject, we returned to Perry Point, MD to transition into our next project. Last week was our summer break, however, I was on a composite team I had volunteered for. I spent a week in the Adirondack mountains in Upstate New York, near the towns of Newcomb and Long Lake with ten other people, helping restore trails and beautify sites around the ecological centers' buildings. We camped in tents up in their restricted areas that are only used by their field researchers. We were on a beautiful lake, however there were a TON of bugs that seemed to bite on every part with or without bugspray. My bites are stil currently healing. Our sponsor was pretty awesome as he knew of Americorps and had had teams in the past.  The area was very remote in that our campsite was about 25 minutes away from the main lodge building where we were provided breakfast and items to make lunch. The town of Newcomb and Long Lake had only specific buildings where there was cell service and only either AT&T or Verizon worked there. Since the towns are actually within a prtected state park, it is impossible to get any frachises or big businesses in so theses towns are very stuck in the times lookwise.
  Today we just arrived in in New Castle, Deleware getting ready to work with Habitat for Humanity for a couple of weeks working with volunteers to help stick frame (lay out) where houses will go and also insulate some home. On July 27th we will be going back to Baltimore, MD to work at a charter school called City Neighbors and while we won't be working with kids (which is a project I really hope we get next round), we will be building on floors so that the charter school can add more high school grade classrooms.
On the 18th my team will be going to DC to present a debrief/brief to the NCCC Advisory Board on our last and now current round.
   It may be hard to keep these posts consistent in the coming few weeks. A few weeks from now I will be going back to California to attend to some family stuff so I've been focused on that mostly. I will try to update when possible though.

                                                                         Until Then,
                                                                   <3 Heather G

Friday, June 1, 2012

A not-so-average week on our second round!

   So occasionally in Americorps NCCC you get these events that come up out of the blue that disrupt your normal work schedule. This week was weird to begin with since we had Memorial day off making this a four day work week. Tuesday was really the only normal day of brush clearing and hard trail work we had for the week.
  About a week or so ago, a  member of another Americorps program discovered we were in the area and invited us to an Americorps appreciation day. Now at first, our team thought this would be some fancy dancy awards ceremony we'd get to sit on, cool, this is what we bring our formal black and white uniforms for! But we soon discovered that we wouldn't need to wear our formals at all! Why? well Wednesday our team went to a place called Lake Compounce in Hartford, Connecticut. Ah, but despite the name, lake it is not! It is an amusement park! We were able to go expenses already paid to this event! We sat in and listened to some speeches which were really cool and got to learn about and meet some people from other Americorps programs that we hadn't known about. After that we were fed lunch and for a few hours got to ride roller coasters ( I think I speak for the team when I say a big wooden roller coaster called Boulder Dash was our favorite) Quite an exciting day! It was definitely a nice break from our normal routine.
   Thursday was back to work, but this day we went to Bridgeport to help with an organization called Kaboom! To shortly describe it, what they do is build playgrounds in various cities around our country as well as several other countries. The actual whole building of the playground takes place in just one day Our team was there to help prep for the actual build day, (which is Saturday) doing work that they can't do around kids on the actual build day. We worked alongside several other volunteers digging holes and cutting wood as well as organizing hardware. While digging in this empty lot, we discovered many things! Such as, pieces to a truck, a seat to a car, a shopping cart, and also a fridge. Quite interesting to say the least! It did make work a bit more complicated, but the volunteers were able to get the machines necessary to take it out of the lot.
   Today, we helped finish the rest of the prep work in preparation for tomorrow. Our team definitely wishes we could be there for the actual playground build, but Kaboom! already has over 200 community volunteers that will be working in this small lot so it was decided that having an an extra ten people wasn't necessary.    
   However, tomorrow........
Our YMCA sponsors are taking us to BOSTON!!!
I'm definitely excited (Even though I'm completely broke! But there are plenty of free things to do there!) I hopefully will be able to make it to the Fire Museum since it is one of the oldest ones, other than that I'll probably just wander and see what I find, that's always a good way to do it!
   I definitely know I'm not hitting everything in these blog posts! But if you have any specific questions I'd be happy to answer them! Just email me at!

                                                                  Until then,
                                                              <3 Heather G

Monday, May 28, 2012

A bit about becoming older and being away from home (and of course a project update!)

Yes I realize I'm only 19! I'm not saying I feel old, just that I feel like I'm becoming a bit more of an adult. To me, it's a good feeling. On Thursday, since my phone had broken earlier in the week, I went to Metro PCS to finally just pay for my own phone entirely. My first type of any formal type of bill payment and while it may be small, it gives me that sense of responsibility, and being able to hold myself accountable. I feel myself becoming a bit more confident in my actions, though I still have a lot to work on as I tend to revert back to my habit of going into my shy little shell around new people.
  Now a few months ago, I would've told you that I wasn't homesick at all, that I never would be in this entire program. But that's a lie. Of course I get a little homesick every now and then over here, I think just about everyone does. Everyone here in Americorps gets stuck in this weird thing we like to call the Ameribubble. It's easy to get caught up in but every now and then when you're able to pop out of it, it's a bit stressful to think that there's so much going on that you're missing back home. What brings me back though is I think of aall the reasons of why I wanted do this in the first place. I wanted to help people, even though in some instances it feels like we're really indirectly helping people, when you look at the bigger picture, we've helped a lot. I always think that if I wasn't doing this, then I wouldn't be broke, but if I was still back home I'd still be working in a job where I was consistently doing the same eat,work,sleep routine, waiting for the next big thing to come along. Being in Americorps gives me that extra push I need, as well as the life experiences that are priceless. When I look at my team, it always amazes me how close you can become to people who were only strangers a few short months ago, and how big of an impact they can already make on you.
 Alright, enough of that, a bit of an update on our project!
   The past week we have been continuing on brush clearing near trails to minimize fire hazards around the camp, we also keep finding new trails! So we've been clearing those as well. Also, our team has been continuing to dig out ground for pits for the game called Gaga, which is an Israeli form of kickball, they installed one of the Gaga pits, but the dimensions of the pit turned out to be bigger than initially thought, so our team must dig out more ground to accommodate the pit. This upcoming week we will hopefully be spray painting roots and large rocks that we weren't able to get out of the ground on the trails in order to clearly mark them as to minimize tripping hazards.
    Things are moving along quickly! I can't believe that we're already halfway into our round!
Oh! Almost forgot! The first week of July (which is summer break for Americorps) I'll be on a trail crew, my team leader is leading it. It'll be in upstate New York and we'll be there for seven days. It'll definitely be an interesting project but it'll be fun teaming up with new people!
  Well, that's all for now! I'll try to update again on Friday!

                                                      Until then,
                                                  <3 Heather G

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Connecticut rain and a few other things!

So, we arrived in Hamden, Connecticut last wednesday night! When we arrived, our sponsor had a pasta dinner for us and a lot of the staff that works for Camp Mountain Laurel was there to greet us as well. We talked, they talked, we played a fun game, it made us all very excited to work for these great people.
  Having all of the team isn't as bad as I thought it would be, especially considering that where we are sleeping was originally a place that is meant for sleeping in! Therefore, there isn't insulation so it's been a bit cold, and, as observed today, there's a few spots where the roof leaks! But it's good, we make the best of it!
 Downstairs, where normally the office is for the camp, we have our kitchen area, which includes a fridge and freezer, hot plate and crockpot. Outside we also have a camp barbeque. It's quite an interesting thing trying to cook healthy meals for ten people!
  Since the camp doesn't open until we leave this project, in our down time we have access to the recreational equipment which includes an archery range (when we fix that area up we can use it) and a ping pong table that's located in their arts and crafts room, which happens to be filled with a bunch of random items so we'll have to clear that out before we can use it. The surrounding area is full of trails into nature! It's definitely a different environment from our last project,which is quite refreshing!
   Saturday, we walked around New Haven! (which happens to be where Yale is located!) The Yale campus is absolutely beautiful! New Haven is a really cool town as well! I was sung to by some person on the street because he wanted food, so that was pretty cool!
  Connecticut weather is constantly changing! They say if you don't like the weather, then wait five minutes! However, today it has been raining all day! After our tour of the New Haven YMCA, we continued on repairing trails, by the end of the day we were all drenched from the rain! Connecticut rain is definitely different from what I'm used to in Sacramento! For hours, the rain came heavy and in big fat drops! But I love pouring rain, so to me it was pretty awesome!
   Our team is continuing to strengthen and grow as the days go on and I'm starting to see the changes in myself, which is a pretty cool and interesting thing to see!
   Things are going pretty well here! I'll update again soon! We've got a lot going on over here!

                                                                             Until then,
                                                                          <3 Heather G


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Next Stop..... Hamden, Connecticut!

  So, once again I am procrastinating on packing! We get a limit of packing our issued red bags and one personal bag, figuring out what i want to take for 6 weeks will be a hassle!
      We left Baltimore last Thursday and came back to our Perry Point campus where we had a couple days off then it was back to work on sunday night to have a team meeting, then yesteday we had our project debrief, then tomorrow we do our director's brief for our upcoming project!
   We also leave tomorrow afternoon for Hamden, Connecticut! (4 hours in a 15 person van, oh my)Anticipation is definitely growing within myself and the team! We just had a 'hand-off' call with our sponsor today which means that we got to talk to our sponsor for the first time! Camp Mountain Laurel is a new sponsor so this means that they've never had an Americorps team at their site, this means that the sponsors will be super excited.for our team, but also means that we will probably complete a lot of their projects a lot quicker than expected, but that just means we get to move on to other projects that they may have!
    Oh yea! I turned 19 a few days ago! it's a bit weird since it was my first birthday being away from home since I usually spend birthdays with family. My team leader and some of my teammates came with me to a state park to celebrate the day with me. The park name was Gunpowder Falls State Park and it was beautiful!!! I got a lot of pretty pictures =)  One of my teammates also cooked me steak with asparagus and a side of mashed cauliflower that makes it taste like mashed potatoes and a blackberry with sweet tea mix was poured on tha, i swear this guy can make any meal pretty amazing, it was quite a satisfying birthday meal =)
   Yesterday, I also started a diet and am on day two with no sugary items and lots and lots and lots of fruits and veggies, the same guy that cooked my birthday dinner, also happens to be a health buff so I decided it will make me much more motivated if I actually understand what's good and what's not and the way I've been eating, definitly need to take advantage of this. What's great about Americorps is you have so many oppurtunities laid out in front of you that you might not have otherwise.
    More about Camp Mountain Laurel! Awesome doesn't even begin to describe how awesome this project is! It's in the country but still close to the city (finally get to see some stars!!!) they're giving us beach passes, hiking passes, free access to their gym that's about 5 minutes away that has an indoor pool as well as fitness classes we can attend for free. The camp itself has an archery range, tennis courts, an outside pool that opens around memorial day, a ropes course and a lot of other recreational activities. Although the camp itself doesn't start until after we leave, we will have the opportunity to work with other Y programs in the area to help work with kids. Also, in June we will be participating in a project known as Ka-boom, which will happen in June sometime and what it is, is a one day blitz build of a playground so that shall be cool!
     I'm assistant team leader for this round! I will be helping with team paperwork as well as lead the team in absence of our team leader among other things that will be discussed wonce we get a better idea of our work scope.
   I'm definitely excited to get out of the city, which is odd, considering iI lived in the country for 6 years I wouldn't think I'd miss it. The difference must be how much we have to do! (that and the fact that the ocean is like 10 miles away!   
       Well, that's all for now! I need to stop procrastinating on packing! Time for the next adventure!!
                                                                        Until Then,
                                                                   <3 Heather G

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First spike round is almost over!

These past couple weeks have been crazy fast! I feel like I just started this project with Rebuilding Together Baltimore! Rebuilding day was Saturday and our team worked on a few community beautification projects as well as helped with the fix-up of houses that had been specifically picked by Rebuilding Together Baltimore for this day. We worked with many volunteers and their is a huge change in the way the sites now look. I've gained some new skills here (like installing insulation!) which is pretty cool. I'm really happy with our project sponsors for this project (all the staff is in some form an Americorps Amum!) We've gotten to interact with them a lot which is nice. I'll be a bit sad to leave them!. Also, Since I'm a horrible explainer most of the time, if you'd like to know more about what Rebuilding Together is all about go to
   On Thursday we head back to Perry Point! My team's spring break is this friday-sunday, it'll be weird to be on the campus without anyone but our small ten person team there.
 The end of a round means that we lose a firefighter for the round (there are fire teams as well as the traditional teams) We have 3 firefighters on our team one came back but one left and when she come back from her round, the next firefighter will leave for the round. It's weird how oddly attached you can become to your team!
    Tonight, myself and some teammates are going to downtown Baltimore to have dinner in a part known as little Italy (italian food! yum!) to celebrate a teammate's birthday early. It's crazy that we only have a couple days left here! It's only been about two months, but it's felt like a lifetime that we've been here! Definitly excited to see some new parts over here on the East Coast! (We leave for Hamden,CT next Wednesday! Exciting stuff!) 
    Well that's all for now, these are definitely only the basics of what I'm doing! It's really hard to explain in a little blog post!
        Anyways, soon I shall have more exciting stuff to tell!

                                                    Until Then,
                                                <3 Heather G

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My least favorite material......

Fiber glass insullation!! The stuff is itcby! Myself and another team member had been in a crawlspace (yes , once again) of a woman's home all day installing insullation. It had been put in wrong and was freezing the pipes so this is where we came in! Yes, it's itchy, uncomfortable material, but as usual, we got things done!
       Tomorrow is finally a day off! I have no idea where the week went! Actually, a couple members and I are going over to the Loading Dock for an ISP (independent service project) We're doing litter pick up, tomorrow is also Earth Day guys!
   So maybe there's some of you who wonder about the why of volunteering in Americorps NCCC, why give up 9 months of your life to not really be paid? To me, the answer is simple. Life is boring without being involved consitently with the people and places in your surroundings. Sure money is nice, but there's something about the way people stare at you when your team gets out of a 15 passenger van, wondering what the 'A' on your uniform means, why we wear these 'combat boots', there's something about the way a homeowner thanks you for something as simple as putting duct tape under a rug to stick to the floor to keep her from slipping on it, there's something about coming back to a spike housing after a long,hard and exausting day of work, having a sit down meal with your team and realizing, while joking around in dinner conversation, that these people you hardly knew two months ago, each person you never thought you'd have much in common with, have started to become like family, for now, these are the people who make up what is 'home'.   
    So that's my blurb on that for now! It's really crazy to see the growth in myself and the growth in my team, there are many hardships to face but, in Moose 3 style we will definitely overcome them!
   Time to end this, but more later! It's going to be crazy around here next week (Rebuilding Day is on April 28th) but I'll try to post when I can!
                                                                           Until Then,
                                                                        <3 Heather G

Friday, April 20, 2012

Don't Forget!

Don't forget to check out our team blog!!

Wrapping up week 1!

End of week one with rebuilding together is actually tomorrow this week and next week we are working monday-saturday work schedules. Very long hours, but totally worth it =) (energy drinks also help haha) The aim of Rebuilding together is to create warmer, safer,  and drier homes. For their homes to qualify for what's known as Rebuilding Day (which is on the last Saturday of April every year) people must be over a certain age, have a disability or have children. A total of about 30 homes will be worked on as well as about 10 community beautification projects. This week and next week we have been/will be preparing for this day. We have so far already prepared materials, and done several fix up projects. YesterdayI got to get into a 29'' crawlspace to take out installation at a house and tomorrow I get to go back again to install it! Pretty exciting! Small spaces just seem to entrance me haha. Today we will be putting primer on a retaining wall for one of our upcoming community projects. This week has already gone by so fast, it's so weird!! The parsonage that we are staying in is pretty nice too, but we are definitly being spoiled by having a kitchen and a pretty spacious space haha. This experience is teaching me so much already! I definitly feel like i've changed a lot within myself,enjoying PT, eating foods I wouldn't have ever tried if not for this program, feeling like age isn't a factor in the sense of getting things done. I'm really enjoying the people we're working with too, and it definitly puts a whole new perspective on things when so many people come together from all different worlds. I'm definitely excited for the next spike as it gets closer (we'll only be 7 miles from the beach! Maybe I'll send out some seashells!)
     So that's all for now! Let me know what you guys are up to! It's easy to get wrapped up in what's known as the Amerilife, so I'd really like to hear from you!

                                                                              Until Then,
                                                                           <3 Heather G

Friday, April 13, 2012

On to the next phase of round one

So sorry I haven't been keeping up! (I know that sentence seems to be on repeat with every post) Our teams first round is a bit odd in the fact that our round has two projects instead of the usual one. This is known as an extended round. We just finished the 5 week project at the Loading Dock, where we organized door section where there were a TON of doors, by doing this, their sales on doors are now 120% from where they were before. It's crazy!  We did a variety of beautification projects on the landscapes outside the Loading Dock, such as mulching and picking up garbage. We also created signs for each major section where there was sellable material, which will make it easier for customers to buy, therefore creating a more sustainable reusable material warehouse. It was interesting to see how the project came together at the end, and how we have grown as a team despite the frustrations that come along with living and working with the same people on a daily basis.
         Our next project will be for three weeks with Rebuilding Together Baltimore. We begin on monday and will be staying in a church parsonage. We will be helping Rebuilding Together Baltimore prepare for Rebuilding Day which is on April 28th where a massive amount of volunteers come on that date and help fix homes in the specified neighborhood locations. We will be helping to prepare for Rebuilding day, help coordinate volunteers on the day, as well as clean up for the week after. We will be work 6 day, 8 hour a day for the next two weeks and then a four or 5 day 8 hour day work week on the last week
                      On May 4th (yes, my bday) we will be heading back to the perry point campus for our trasition week where we will be doing our project debrief as well as our next project director's brief.
       On round two we will be going to Hamden, Connecticut! We will be working at a YMCA camp called Camp Mountain Laurel. This recieved much damage on its property from last year's Hurricane Irene so we will be doing a lot of trail restoration. We will also get to work with kids in an education format as well as help the staff plan out its summer education schedule. Also, I have been chosen by my team leader to be assistal team leader (ATL) for the round which I'm pretty excited about. Disaster is something I've really wanted to work with so I'm pretty excited about this project all around. We will be staying on the YMCA site in two arts and crafts rooms as our sleeping quarters. We will have access to facilities such as archery ranges, swimming pools, tennis courts etc.
    Also the city our project is located at is close to New Haven and is also, by bus, about two hours to New York City! Exciting!
       That's all I have to give for now, tomorrow I have to get up early! we're leaving at 5:45 am to go kayaking to do river clean up for community service day! It's about a 2 and a half hour drive hence the early start time. This has been quite the week! I hope you all are doing well! I'll try to update again on monday after the first day of work at Rebuilding Together!

                                                                                Until Then,
                                                                           <3 Heather G

Sunday, April 1, 2012

AHHH! (Hello!)

 Hey guys! It's been awhile! I just haven't had the time to go get internet! It's definitely a go,go,go type of life! Yesterday was a pretty intense day as the team was helping with a homeless resource day. We acted as guides to lead people around to whatever services they needed for the day. It definitely puts life into a totally different perspective. Definitely good work but an exhausting day.
          On a different note, I started lindy hop classes on friday! Lindy hop is like a different version of swing dancing, but more complicated. Which is funny considering I have horrible rhythm! But it shall be fun =)
        We have two more weeks at the Loading Dock! And then its off to Rebuilding Together Baltimore for 3 weeks!  It's crazy how fast time is flying by! But at the same time, I feel like I've been over here forever, when in reality I haven't even been in americorps for 2 months yet! Ameritime flows much differently than the outside world!
        I'm at 3 minutes and 30 seconds on planks at the moment! I'm almost halfway to my goal! I look foward to showing off in front of everyone in americorps when i get to eight minutes, as the record from last year was 7 minutes and 30 seconds. I can definitely feel myself getting in better shape!
          I found out that I can actually cook! I made some really yummy stuffed bell peppers for my team (cooking for 10 people is kind of hectic!) And I am cooking again this week (but I have yet to decide what, maybe tortelllini?)
          The weekend after next we get to go do river trash pick-up! Why am I excited about that? Well, this also means we get to kayak in order to do this! Sweet!
        Anyways, I am loving it here in Baltimore and my team is cool and there's just so much to do! This time is crazy! (AH! I can't believe I'll be 19 in about a month, my goodness)
                Well that's all for now! More to come soon! Stay tuned!
                                                                                Until then,
                                                                             <3 Heather G

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sorry it's been so long!

So right now I'm blogging to you from DC! It' pretty cool here! Went to the Smithsonian, attended a rally, exciting stuff! This week has been so weird! So far I've discovered I actually like cheescake I've been drinking actual coffee, and yesterday I enjoyed an energy drink! What is going on? Ah but this why I love Americorps, I've begun a motto that says to say yes to any new opportunity, I'm really excited to see where that takes me =)
   Also, I've put into motion that my one of my workout goals for the end of this program is to do an 8 minute plank! It'll be pretty intense! Oh! We're also finally done with organizing doors! Now on to other fun projects!  Well that's all for now! I'll update more as things happen!

                                                                           Until then,
                                                                        <3 Heather G

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Doors, doors, and more doors!

Yep, you read correct! This week has consisted of moving and organizing doors in the warehouse! It's been taking a lot of time, but progress is to be seen and made! I'm having a blast here in Baltimore! It's gorgeous here! Just a year ago I would have never imagined that I would get a chance at this oppurtunity! It's really humbling when a stranger thanks you for service. It's unbelievable how big an issue poverty is here, it's definitley widened my perspective of things.

        So, I've found that I really enjoy doing planks in PT, I would have never thought that!
    2 of our 3 firefighters come back Saturday night, so we will have a more normalish team!
 Hmm, I probably have more to tell you, but I can't think of those things at the moment haha. We definitly have a lot of good work coming with this project! I'll update again soon!
                                                                            Until Then,
                                                                         <3 Heather G

Sunday, March 11, 2012

About to begin the work I signed up for!

Training month is now over! I'm in Baltimore with my team! (though not everyone is here at the moment, we have 3 firefighters on my team and two are gone for this first week of spike but one is gone for the whole round) Our house is really cool! My team lleader says it'll probably be the best living situation we'll be in all yea. There's a backyard in the back that doesn't look like much right now, but as a team we're planning on fixing it up and I'm so excited for that! It has so much potential! Our work start at 9am on Monday and the first couple days will just kind of be an orientation of the warehouse. Lots of things will be going on these next two months! The good thing is that finding internet access won't be hard at all, so I'll be able to update you guys fairly regularly! (at least for this round)
         Lasy Friday was the last night at 9h dorms,  I hadn't expected to do much more than pack and sleep but then I got invited to go bowling! Something else to cross off my list, I've never been in a position where i could say yes to go do something without putting much thought into it. Being spontaneous is awesome! haha 
         Well that's all for now! I'm having an awesome time and hope all you guys are doing fantastic!! I also have been able to photos up! Alright well gotta go, update soon!
                                                                 Until then,
                                                             <3 Heather G

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spike is in Baltimore!

            Yesterday  had been one eventful day! (oh and we’ve had like another three fire alarm malfunctions two were late at night and one was like 8 in the morning it’s pretty annoying!) Anyways, back to today, my team and I did an ISP (independent serve project) yesterday at a facility that helps poverty stricken and homeless girls and such so today we were organizing a room to be a store for the facility’s new website that will be a site that lets these girls get a bunch of things for free (via donations from sponsors like bath and body, Macy’s and other random volunteers) It was pretty cool knowing that we could actually see where we were making a change by doing this project. (And yes I finally took some pictures!)  The place was in Baltimore so that’s about an hour away from the dorms Perry Point. After this ISP, our team leader took us down some random roads and we were all wondering why things didn’t look familiar and finally we were all really excited because we realized our spike project was about to be revealed! So eventually we park somewhere and our team leader says for all of us to hop out of the van. So we do finding ourselves at a loading dock, our team leader hands an envelope to one of my teammates, revealing our first ATL (Assistant Team Leader). As it turns out the loading dock will be our spike and we will do a lot of logistic things and such. (I’ll get more info to you when we actually go on spike and know more of what we’ll be doing) Our housing arrangement will be a 3 bed/2 bath house with a washer/dryer, not sure if there’s wi-fi at that spot, but since we will be in the city it shouldn’t be hard to find a close place with wi-fi!  And that is where we will be for 8 weeks.
            Ah, but we were not done yet! We climbed back in the van and about another 10 or so minutes later arrived at a different location. This one had a sign that said “Rebuilding Together”. So what we will be doing is helping with low income households which includes things such as; demolition, building, carpentry, helping to sort out people’s clutter and much, much, much more! we will be there for about the remainder of the two months. Of course this means that our team will not be coming back for transition week when everyone else does except for one day I think. (we end up coming back on May 4th, my b-day heh So that means we really won’t see any of the other teams until like the end of June! It’s a little sad, but I’m super excited for all the good, hard work that we will be tasked with! =)          
            I am super excited that we will be in Baltimore for so long!! I can’t wait to explore! Also, Baltimore has FROZEN CUSTARD!!!! I’ve been waiting forever to eat that stuff again! haha
            Also, Baltimore has CHIPOTLE! haha me and my other teammate who is from Sacramento as well were pretty hyped about that.
            A bunch will be going on this week so I probably won’t be updating this for a week or so probably. (But if you send me a letter, I’ll write one back! hehe)
            So that’s what’s been going on lately, pretty exciting since CTI is just about over and now we’re moving into transition week. I may possibly have the chance to go to disaster but I’m not truly counting on it this early in the year heh. Anyways, I hope everything is going well with you guys! Send letters! I’d love to hear from you!

For letters:
 Heather Gorman
Americorps NCCC/ Moose 3
VA medical center
PO box 209
Perry Point, MD 21902

For Packages:
Heather Gorman
Americorps NCCC/Moose 3
VA Medical Center
15 Boiler House Road
Perry Point, MD 21902

                                                Until then,
                                             <3 Heather G

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hello there!

  So I'll start out by saying that I am one sore person! Wall sits during PT make for a very sore rear end XP I feel like an old lady every time i have to sit and get up at the moment haha.
  On an entirely different note, we have had FOUR fire drills in between friday and yesterday, the first and last were because of the fire alarms messing up, the 2nd and 3rd were actual fire drills. Of course the fluke ones happened when everyone was getting ready for bed. The second one on friday night was a particularly chilly night everyone was freezing so most of the Corps members formed a huge huddle, and I happened to be smack in the middle of it somehow! It was quite the experience haha.
  Yesterday was training for permanent specialty roles, my role as a service learning initiator (aka SLI) is to do at least 3 service learning projects for my team during our 6-8 week project "spike" and also initate team reflections about the project. There are many other things that I as an SLI must do, and that includes a BUNCH of paperwork, but I think it'll be pretty fun as I get hands on with the job. Also, at the end of each project round the team will create a project portfolio and I'll help coordinate that.
     Search and rescue training on friday! I'm stoked about that =) 
Had a yummy dinner tonight! ginger chicken and rice and a cauliflower/potato mix that is pretty good!
   A person on my team has taken from calling me  "Heather G" to occasionally calling me "g-unit'.Yea, 'cuz I'm so gangster, right? haha. The team is pretty cool and we're all bonding really well  =)
    Yesterday, I took a run along the bayside that's right acrooss from the dorms. Let me tell you, I have never seen something so breathtaking as a sunset on the water. It's amazing!
       I'm super excited to find out where our team is headed for spike! Should know in a couple days!!!
 Sorry, I'm still lacking in pictures. I probably won't be really starting to take a boatload of pictures until spike though!
    Well that's all for now, I'll post again when something of importance comes up!
                                                                      Until then,
                                                                   <3 Heather G

Friday, February 24, 2012

What A Week!

       Sorry that I've been so late on this! I just got back to the dorms after a four day mini spike helping clean up a girl scout camp in Pasadena the last four days. In case your wondering, that's Pasadena, Maryland, not Pasadena, California (which is still weird to hear haha). My team was helping to cllean up the area, it was a crazy amount of work! There was this little shed that had been filled up with useless things over the past decade or so and we ended up filling a 30 yd dumpster with all the things that were inside! We were all left wondering how it ever fit in that tiny shed in the first place. Now, that shed is a perfectly useful tool shed. Night time in the little cabin we stayed in was pretty fun,I played Spoons for the first time (which I fail at haha) and some game called Ninja. We've all started to bond better which is pretty cool, I'll be learning a lot over these next 8 months! There's this one person on my team who is an awesome cook. He literally can pull out the random few things we have left in our food cabinet, and make something amazing! So when I come back home, I'll maybe know at least a thing or two about cooking. There's another Heather on my team she's like 5 years older than me, but her birthday is on may 3rd! that's kinda crazy haha so now I;m either known as just, Heather, "G" or Heather G, to differentiate between the two Heathers. There's another person on my team who is also from Sacramento so it's pretty nice when we can talk about areas back home. My team leader is a vegan, so I've been eating a lot of vegetables and non-meat, non dairy stuff! I've been eating a lot healthier than I have in the past year or so! A handful of people on my team (there are 11 of us altogether) are very health conscious so that makes it a lot easier to stay motivated to be healthy. And on top of work, we do PT  (physical training) 3 times a week, 45 min each, so I will be very excited to see my results at the end of this service! The next two weeks I will be staying at the dorms doing training for various things and then induction is March 9th and first spike is on March 10th! Everyone on the team has a specialty role, which are permanent roles on the teams. I am a service learning initiator, so part of what I will be doing is researching the spikes we go on, find information about the spike project and come back to team meetings to discuss with the team about why we are doing the project and so on. Training for that is next week. Also, next week is disaster training! I'm excited for that, hopefully we actually go out on disaster this year. 
     I signed up for training to be a VA search and rescue person, which basically what I'd do is search for any of the seniors that live on the VA medical campus if they are missing (our dorms are shared with the Veterans medical center campus. Since we wouldn't do search and rescue on disaster, I figured this is about the closest I'll get to being able to do search and rescue. 
      I'm sorry I've been so horrible about pictures! I will try to be more on top of that!
    If ihaven't talked to you in awhile, don't be offended, I've just been really busy! (I do have a phone on me now though, so if you shoot me a text I will try to get back to you, or you could just go the old fashioned way and send me a letter! hehe =))
        Well that's all for now, I think. A lot of stuff going on lately, I love having things to do! My next post should be a lot sooner since I'll be here at the dorms for two weeks, so yea. Love ya guys hope all is well, talk to you soon!!!

                                                        Until then,
                                                     <3 Heather G

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mailing Addresses! (Finally!)

Ok, for packages:
Heather Gorman
Americorps NCCC/Moose 3
VA Medical Center
15 Boiler House Road
Perry Point, MD 21902

And for letters:

Heather Gorman
Americorps NCCC/ Moose 3
VA medical center
PO box 209
Perry Point, MD 21902


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Moose 3!

  Yesterday we got permanent teams (and I apparently got the term of 'pods' wrong either they mean that temprary teams were 'pods' or if the term 'pod' is synonymous with teams) I'm on Moose 3! My team is pretty cool though at the moment the dynamics are a little odd since six out of the ten members stayed on the same team that was before temporary team. I'm sure that'll change soon though since we will all be spending ten months together! There's also a person who's also from Sacramento so that's cool. Half the team knows how to cook for real so I'm guessing I'll be eating a lot of random weird things that i've never tried before (today one of my teamates cooked chicken that was cooked with some kind of sauce, curry with lentils and other things and eggplant, first two items were pretty good, but I still don't like eggplant =P) that'll be new since i'm so used to eating a bunch of microwaved stuff! haha
        My phone somehow got water damage and rusted so now it doesn't turn, luckily it has insurance on it so my dad is having them send out a replacement phone, but I won't get it until Friday at the earliest, I'm considering going old fashioned and try to find a watch to buy in the next couple days heh. 
    My team is in D.C for tonight and tomorrow, I couldn't go because I still have to get my TB results, which I have to go back to Deleware for on Monday morning.
    We had drug testing this morning, I never realized how hard it would be to go pee! (if that's TMI for you, well I told you this was going to be a more detailed account of this trip =P lol)
         I have my first PT on Tuesday! (I'm not sure how excited I should be for that haha) then we have our first mini-spike Tuesday-Friday at a girl scout camp in central Maryland, helping clear brush and such (I'm hoping to be able to get some girl scout cookies! haha)
     Um there's some pictures up on the Americorps Alantic Region Class XVIII facebook page so check those out if ya want to!
    I promise I'll put my mailing address up tomorrow! i keep forgetting to write it down before I come to the computer lab. I'll have 2 addresses since one will be for mailing letters and one is for sending packages.
      Well, that's all for now!  Miss and love you guys!I'll try to stay as updated as possible!
                                                                       Until Then,
                                                                      <3 Heather


Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm Here!

So I left yesterday at 8:15 and arrived in Baltimore at 6:10 eastern time. A very long flight to say the least! And then the campus is about another 50 miles from Baltimore. But I made it! When I got in last night there was much to talk about! First I got my uniform (I'll try to post a pic in the next few days!It's A pretty cool feeling to wear it!) there were a few other people who had arrived last night as well. After that we got to the dorms, which to me they are huge! I think there's about 160 of us here, so many names that i can't remember! I have 5 other roomates in my room and I have a top bunk, but at least we have a room with a shower! There is so much diversity here, its so crazy and cool!

    Today, I had CPR and first aid training, 6 hours! But Red Cross doesn't make you take a written test in order to get certified so that's cool. After that we went to Walmart which is also really big! (Maryland seems to like big stores) Got back to my new home,  took a run, had some dinner with my pod ( there are about 5 teams in each group thus we call them 'pods') Oh yea! That reminds me! I'm in a team called Moose 1! At least for tonight anyways, tomorrow we get our permanent teams that we'll have for the next 10 months. Which means even more people to meet!
      Tomorrow I also go to Delaware to get my medical stuff done, which means shots, but oh well heh. After that i'll be going to DC to help with a swim meet either tomorrow or Saturday! (depending on which team I get into.) Everyone is crazy nice here even though  a lot are at least a couple years older than me but it's all good! 
   Well that's all for now, the campus is really pretty (right along Chespeake Bay) there are a LOT of deer, and no so snow as of yet, but I'm sure I'll see it somewhere soon  =P
  Monday is President's Day, so we get it off, all I have to do that day is go back to Deleware for TB results, so that's probably when my next post will be!

                                                                        Until Then,
                                                                     <3 Heather G

Friday, February 10, 2012

So, it's not a dream?

It’s now February 10th….Yep, this is still very real! I’m still trying to take it all in and my mind is racing of all the things I need to do before I leave in just 4 days. I need to buy some necessities, pack my room, pack my bag and say all my goodbyes to my family. It’s weird, I’ve never flown on my own, I’ve never even been so far away on my own, and the longest I’ve been away from family is like one week and that was for a sixth grade camping trip so there were people I knew and people I was friends with. This is definitely going to be a new adventure for me and that’s exactly what I’ve been wanting for so long. I’m glad I was lucky and got at least 5 days notice instead of like 2. Now I can be fully prepared and can also see most of my family before I go.
I’m not even really sure what to pack. They say to pack as little as possible and I’m not exactly sure how to do that for ten months. I put a list together but I know I’ll probably forget something I usually do, even when I over pack to go somewhere haha. I suppose I’ll just have to do my best and hope that’s enough!    I’m super excited, I know this is just one of those things that is going to change and help define my life. And to think, just the other day I was just some girl who worked in a bagel shop! (I can see myself when I’m like 70 years old telling one of my old lady stories about how my first job was at a bagel shop XD)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Waiting is worth it in the long run!

So I've been waiting for this for about 7 months now. I got accepted into Americorps NCCC! I leave for Perry Point on February 15th! This is how my day went:
               I had the day off from work so i ended up waking up at about 11am, i found a message from Americorps NCCC from a Kevin Johnson(which i thought was a bit funny considering that's the Sacramento mayor's name heh) saying to call him back ASAP, i start freaking out and in my head think of everything I need to get done before I leave. Well when I got a hold of him, it turned out he just wanted to make sure I was still interested in case a vacancy opened up. I said Yes and he said he'd send the info to his supervisor. I hang up, disappointed but still hoping that I could accepted in the next couple weeks. At this point I'm already up so I take a run. About a half hour after that though, I get another call from Americorps! THis time it's to tell me that I am accepted, I am so excited that i can hardly talk on the phone (I think the person on the phone could tell that too as she was kinda laughing heh) so after i hang up. I am yelling! Excitement that's hard to contain! (no jumping around though, last time I jumped in excitement I sprained my ankle haha) after that i called my sister, then my mom (my mom was at work and had to take her break early because she was in tears, now i feel bad ) she's happy for me but understandably it will be hard for her to let me leave. After that I pretty much go through everyone in my contact list to tell them I'll be gone for ten months. I have like 4 more days to work at my job which is crazy, I've been there six months now. I'm really excited for this adventure to begin! I've never flown anywhere by myself, let alone go all the way to the other side of the country! It's still crazy to take in that in 5 days i will begin something that will be a huge life changer! I'll try to keep this blog up to post my adventures!!