I have been back from our ASB trip to Tennessee for awhile now but it seems like I was just there.  I remember clearly the smell of the pine trees, the impressive waterfall sites, and the looks on everyones faces I saw after we completed a service project.  I do not want to be overly cliche and talk about how this trip completely changed me as a person and how I will never be the same… but there is one thing I need to say: this trip taught me that life is what you make of it.  It did not matter if we were swimming in a beautiful lake or just picking up garbage in a park, we were always having fun and enjoying life for what it’s worth.  We enjoyed each other’s company and took everything in.  This idea is very apparent in the Cherokee community we visited there.  I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to meet the Cherokees.  Everything they told me about their community was so interesting.  They were so welcoming and you could tell that they really enjoyed telling people about their community.  I am also so happy that I had the honor of meeting Ed and Arleen, our hosts for the week.  They are such amazing people with huge hearts (who also know how to have fun!).  Their program, “Once Upon a Time”, is so nicely organized and just a truly wonderful experience.  They could not have been nicer and they really helped us take a lot away from our experiences.  One night, we had a big reflection with all of the schools there as we made smores in their huge fire pit.  Ed and Arleen guided our conversation and made us laugh with all of their funny ghost stories.  It was so much fun.  I am so happy and grateful I had this experience and I would recommend this trip to anyone!

It’s so soon!

I have been looking forward to this trip for so long and now that it is finally here it does not seem real!  This is my first trip with the Alternative School Break Club and I am very privileged to be able to have this experience.  I have never been to Tennessee and I am very excited to be enriched in Cherokee culture.  Although I am not sure what exactly to expect, I know that I am going to have the opportunity to meet a lot of people whose lives are very different from mine.  I can not wait to talk to them and hear all of their stories and ideas!  I am excited to be away from my fast-paced life style of being in school.  I want to take the time to experience everything at its fullest- without cell phones and internet, and learn some things that can only be taught through experience.  I hope that by the end of this trip, I will have a good appreciation for the Cherokee culture and will have had the honor of talking to the many people we will meet there.