In 45 mins…

Bowden said we would arrive in 45 mins and we drove for another 2 hours. We spent a whole day crammed in a van with pillows and luggage. I would not have survived if it wasn’t for Dale’s music. Around 7:30pm we made it home to mac & cheese and it was all worth it. Being super exhausted did not stop us from staying up and playing games until 12am. We played mafia for 3 hours and I didn’t get to be mafia once :(

On the bright side, I wasn’t the first one out of ninja  which is usually the case. I don’t remembef much of the late night activities because I was half asleep but stay tuned for updates on our adventure in North Catolina.

Just Add Hot Sauce

After about an 10 hour travel day, we have made it!!! We had some close calls, but my brave team handled them well.  Mary and I battled toll booths and then Luis and I took it a step further and conquered death.  Actually. We went to a Mexican food restaurant and tried a hot sauce called “death”.  It was really only injury worthy though: the real killer was one called “Endorphin Rush”.  The next time we challenged death was when they put me behind the wheel.  After my car learned that animals can love and what gross domestic happiness was through twenty questions, we finally got to Chestnut Ridge!  After dinner, we ended up playing Mafia for probably three hours.  People died from falling off of beds, parked cars, and tripping over pebbles. Others were wrongly incarcerated, some (like me) simply for “looking innocent” or others for moving.  We fought to the very end, but when it was over I felt so close to my team.  Put 15 strangers got in a car, add some hot sauce and some obstacles, and 10 hours later, you get a strange big family!

Bonding Day

Day 1 of ASB: Team Fitting In was rather interesting. It would be safe to summarize this day as our team’s bonding day. We traveled from Lafayette College in Easton, PA to Durham, North Carolina in two SUV’s. This trip took a little under 10.5 hours. Our team sang, introduced each other to new music, and played intense, sometimes stressful games of 20 questions (I don’t know why we chose to disrespect the last question that would’ve made it 21 questions). Also, we were fed well along the way to North Carolina – shout out to our group leader(s).

Upon arrival to our site, we ate dinner and got ourselves situated in our cabin. The team bonded further through games of Ninja, WA, and Mafia. Mafia is not for the weak-hearted, let me tell you. However, it was a great experience all around. There was some betrayal that took place in these games, and I was bitter about it. But in the end, we were all able to laugh about the ridiculousness of it all.

On the road

First day for our team FITting in — a great team bonding road trip that ended with a lot of laughters.

The morning started out a little grey, rain pouring down when we tried to pile all the packages into the vans. But by the time we got to Durham county in North Carolina, seeing the warm sunset outside the window made our bumpy trip totally worth it. After we settled in, and had a dinner served by our host in Chestnut Ridge, we had more team bonding games in our lodge– Mafia is one of my favorites. “Successfully” being a Mafia until Dale(the narrator) gave out the secrets! We had so many laughters until midnight. And the group made me feel more comfortable to open up myself!

After today, after getting to know each one in the team much better, I cannot wait for the upcoming week and adventure that awaits us!

The Trek

No, I don’t mean Star Trek…today we started the long journey from Lafayette to Chesnut Ridge Retreat Center in North Carolina. We left Lafayette campus at 8:30 am, bright eyed and bushy tailed. We were all ready to go. Eleven hours later, after endless road trip games, sing alongs, and naps (especially by a certain team member) we arrived at our destination!! Right away, I knew we would be getting the full camping experience, and I was very excited, as long as S’mores would be a part of the deal. After a great dinner thanks to Chesnut Ridge and much to the surprise of the group, we played some interesting ice breakers. Things got pretty heated, but in the end we are a better team because of it. Overall, it was a great way to spend our first day. WE OUT!

Marissa Stop Accussing Me

The first day of our trip is in the books! The drive was very long, but thankfully we played a lot (and I mean A LOT) of games in the car to keep us entertained. We learned that Luis might possibly be colorblind because he thinks lemonade is green, and that Zach can sleep for a full day and still be tired. Mary also paid her first toll and pumped her own gas! They grow up so fast. We stopped at California Tortilla where Kaitlin and Luis decided to chug hot sauce for fun. We arrived at Chestnut Ridge at 7:30ish, we ate dinner as a team and did some team bonding. Tomorrow we’re doing a cultural activity, and Monday starts the real fun! I’m so excited to see what the rest of the week brings!

Hello North Carolina!

We made it at last! After hours of driving, laughing at good (and bad) jokes, and the occasional foot cramp, we arrived in sunny  North Carolina! Although it was dark and late, we were all very happy to be at our new home for the next week! Once we moved in, enjoyed a delicious dinner and three ninja games later, everyone was ready for the next day! As we all settled down for the night, I thought “I wonder what’s next? What awaits us tomorrow? What will the week bring?” As I turned over in my bunk bed and looked out into the darkness, I knew this break would be one to remember.

What’s Gross National Happiness?

12 hours of team bonding, 20 questions, and pump up music later, we arrived in North Carolina!  Everyone here is so friendly and kind.  For me, yesterday was an exercise in being gumby and in trusting the process.  Our vans were quite packed (one might even say cramped), and we were driving for 12 hours in the rain.  However, we all kept a positive attitude and turned the experience into a great bonding time.  I was also so nervous the night before because I knew I would be driving for a large portion of the trip.  I have an almost maternal attitude towards everyone in ASB.  I want so badly for everyone to have a safe, meaningful, affirming experience.  While the first toll I went through was a little panic-inducing, and the Jersey-girl I am struggled with pumping gas (shout out to our friendly neighborhood Zack for swooping in and saving the day), everything else went smoothly!  I even took the lead for the second leg of our journey.  ASB is all about pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.   Yesterday reminded me to trust that process this week and to trust in my team to be there to help me when I run into roadblocks, both literally and figuratively.  I can’t wait to see where this week takes us!

Hot Sauce Showdown

The day started off with weather I hadn’t seen in a while nor did I want to see on the day we were starting our trip: rain. From trying to use the sleeping bag cover to protect the pillow from getting wet to keeping half of my body dry while the other half was out of the car as we fit our luggage, we somehow managed to fit in 12 people and bags in 2 vans. Spending most of the way there getting much deserved sleep was the right decision, at least for me. The rest was spent singing along to music, playing 20 questions with words/phrases like Gross National Happiness, ..-.-.-.–.-.(Morse Code) and Ali Baba, and trying to consume the sauces from the Wall-of-Flame ranging from your average Death Sauce to the menacing Endorphin Rush. Finally arriving, eating food and settling in led us to playing a series of games which involved a lot of karate/ninja chops and pretending to be townspeople out to find out who the MAFIA among us was (one of the MAFIA’s hits was coincidentally, by hot sauce). Safe to say , by midnight, we all (except for me because I slept most of the way here) were falling over each other to get to sleep.

Quite Amp Up for Tomorrow

It is surprising and quite disturbing  to find out that things have not fully recovered even after a decade, even in a country like America. I wonder how long will my country, one of the countries with the lowest GDP will ever get back to where we used to be, after Nargis Cyclone.

We are teaming up with St. Bernard to renovate a house. Prior to the trip, each team members had to research about the economic, social, and other aspects of the city and present it at the meeting.

It would be better for me personally, if I have been to New Orleans before Katrina Hurricane so I can know what New Orleans was like and what it is now. To be honest, I don’t know if would find the aftereffects of the Hurricane though.