Team Swamped! Day 1

After a long journey from campus last Sunday,team swamped has settled easily into the cozy hostel of the everglades, a wonderdul place reminiscent of a lush jungle with a waterfall to complete the scenery. Today marked day 1 of our service trip. Following an early breakfast and a 30 minute drive across the everglades, we met with our guide Mava. She was both welcoming and engaging, providing us with a history of the national park (used to hold a missile base) and a reminder of the importance that our work holds for the future of the environment. As part of our work, we were tasked with removing invasive plants in a region called the hole-in-donut (HID). The HID is the last remaining region where invasive plants such as the Brazillian pepper tree need to be removed from the everglades. Using both clipppers and a special herbicide, we spent about 4 hours razing down the threatening plants. The work, under the heat of the sun, proved to be very intensive. However, through sheer team work, dedication, and the guidance of Mava, we were able to remove a large amount of invasive plants and exceed the target goal that Mava had envisioned for us. Soon after we finished, a group photo was taken to commemorate our work. Mava seemed very grateful which made us very happy. Afterwards, we left to go gator sighting. We were amazed to see so many alligators, birds, fish, and turtles. We took lots of group pictures with them before leaving. On the way home, we stopped at an exotic fruit store called “Robert is Here”. We had some of the best fruit milkshakes of our lives and picked up fresh produce for dinner. The day ended with card games, reflection time, and lots of night time fun!!