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