Author: Waseh Ahmad

You can’t sell your brother at the garage sale

Although still snowing outside, the Mythbusters team started their day with coffee and were able to get right into the work at HAVEN. The first half of the day was spent in creating a library system for the resource books available for the people living and working at HAVEN. And being the skillman/kirby library trained worker that I am, me and Emma got right into it. Organizing the books by the category ranging from “Sexual Assault” or “Divorce” to “Therapeutic Methods”. All the while we were both shocked and amused by some of the books, such as for a children’s book entitled “You can’t sell your brother at the garage sale”.

For the other half, before continuing with the library, two amazing educators who work in the community outreach programs, came and talked to us more about what they do, how they do it and why they do it. They target K-12 and then further university and professional level as well. But the idea of making the programs they do (K-12) systemic and sustainable had me falling head over heels for them!! It was exactly the type of solution I had hoped to see being implemented and here were people I could talk to about it! We learned more about primary vs secondary and tertiary programming while giving us things to think about while planning for reorientation. Which is what we did later at night!

After watching half of “The Invisible War”, a documentary on sexual assault in the US military, and then reflections, we broached the topic of reorientation and what we can do to stand out and make people remember our education and actions.

Shout out to Amy for being the best!

 

Jammy claims Mr T is a Russian Spy

You know that feeling when. you don’t want to wake up but responsibility and having to adult takes over? Well that’s how most of my morning went  even with the delicious breakfast set up for us. I really didn’t have much motivation as we pulled up to the project site and dragged ourselves into the house but somehow, in the midst of the music provided by adri and “the white girl” (zack) as well as the constant drilling noise coming from the other room where Seiver was handling the drill like it was her trade, I found the energy to play in mud lol. Well technically not playing; it’s called mudding. From discussing last night’s “catch phrase” connections to talking about our lives before college, the house was bustling with energy and noise. And I have to admit winning the water fight between Adriana and myself was very satisfactory, we are lunch on the side of the road enjoying the beautiful day New Orleans offered us and discussed minorities as compared to armpits( I swear our conversations could not get weirder). by the end of the project day, we felt both accomplished with what small role we played in helping the people of the city but also sorrow from having to say good bye to one of our supervisors, Jay aka Jason aka Jay-Z??

I really didn’t feel like it when I suggested it but doing Shaun T’s ainsanity fast and furious out in the grass with Zack,Kofi and Steve felt amazing and added another item to our list of accomplishments of the week. After we had showered, all of us headed out to the French Market and what a gorgeous place it is. What surprised me the most was how similar it was to what I experienced markets to be in Pakistan not only the ambience but also the objects being sold (some things were even from Pakistan).  We toured through Bourban Street like the touriss we were trying not to be but it was a unique experience of having bead necklaces  being thrown at us by the residents from above.

The most important day for all of us though was the reflections led by Charlotte and Hannah. Filled with laughter and embarrassment (sorry Kofi and yari) as well as a nice conversation about what were trying to accomplish here as well as the hurdles people all over the world face with oppression, inequality and gentrification. It ended with us being much closer that we were and developed a stronger bond which i hope continues to grow.

Highlight of the night though: Jasmine thinks Tim was sent from Russia as a spy. I’ll post future updates as we discover Tim’s identity.


Jammy and Steve , two very newembers of the team

The day began like any other , just casually rolling out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and trying to stay awake for our very first daybon the job. We were pumped but that energy had yet to be awoken by “hotline bling”( I’ll explain that in a bit).We managed to make our way to the volunteer site for The St. Bernard Project (An organization which works to rebuild/repair homes for Katrina victims who had contractors just run off with their money(how can people be so heartless?) as well as provide subsidized homes in new Orleans for the less well off).  Annnnnyyyyways, we got to hear the story of a new orleanian,Mr Felix and how his life played out before and after katrina until his phone starts blaring ” YOU USED TO CALL ME ON MY CELLPHONE…. LATE NIGHT WHEN YOU ..” lol.

Soon after we were at the site of the house well be working on and were learning tools of the trade of builidng homes … mainly mudding and drilling. From Zack being offered mud to eat from our supervisor Jay to music blaring while we sang along, it was a phenomenal experience. It was also there that the big revelations of Jasmine’s nickname Jamie (prefers Jammy) came to light upon which Justin decided to make his long lived desire of being called Steve by everyone known.

The rest of the day went by in a blur from playing pickup basketball (I really need to practice more :o ) to just chilling and playing “catch phrase” where I could swear Amanda, Ayari and Alyssa had this weird connection….suspicious …… But Jammy’s passion and vigorous participation bested the other team.

Last minute shout out to everyone on the team for being as amazing as they are and staying pumped especially those of  us not feeling well. Oh and thanks to Mr T(im) for staying up and letting me distract him from his reading.

The chirping of Bo’s Cousins

Imagine being on spring break and waking up as if you have an 8 am but with the excitement of a 9 year old just before recess which is exactly what we all were. The first day volunteering at the school and we were all pumped with energy. Honestly speaking, I did not expect myself to become as tired as I did but I guess after four hours of playing with little kids, one would kind of want to just nap, even on a blacktop. Thankfully, by 7 pm, I had eaten and showered(SUCH AN AMAZING FEELING). But the night was far from over. We headed out deeper into the forest to a bonfire area to the sound of chirping crickets and beetles(whatever sound they make but Bo recognized them as his cousins).From roasting S’mores to mad lib horror stories to light writing, it was definitely a night to remember. Although, I was so tired by the time we came back to the cabin that i fell asleep on the couch(just an average day for me though).

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.

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