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