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