Today I made a new best friend, Mutt Mutt. Mutt Mutt is the sweetest, most beautiful golden pup I ever laid my eyes on. While talking to Matt Matt our contractor, Mutt Mutt the dog bounded towards me through the snowy Appalachians, weaving in and out of the trees leaping right into my arms. The moment our eyes met, I knew we were meant for each other. Mutt Mutt was so full of energy greeting each and every one of us with life and vigor, while we were putting the finishing touches on the tornado proof porch. At the end of the day, we tried to walk Mutt Mutt back to his home, but he wouldn’t have any of it. He came racing back down the gravel strewn trail chasing our vans as we drove off into the sunset. I will never forget you Mutt Mutt, you are my best friend forever and always…and forever.
“Every lie is built on a kernel of truth.”
Today was out first day of service. We woke up, looked out the window to see large white flakes. We travelled 600 miles south only to enounter freezing temperatures and snow! Our service got off on the wrong foot, as the carpenter attempted to use Kofi’s hammer to demonstate our first task, but as he swung the hammer the head went flying. Everyone laughed as the carpenters noticed a smiley face on the now useless hammer head. Throughout the day, we nailed what they told us were walls togeather, although it was tough to visualize how it would fit togeather. We are supposed to put them up tomorrow. We put the frame together for two walls of the house.
After the service, we returned to the cabin and cooked dinner. After we ate, We watched a documentary about a coal strike in the 1980s and the impact of coal on the population. Overall, it was an awesome second day in Hazard and i can’t wait to continue working on the house tomorrow.
Our first full day in Kentucky was interesting. It has been fun getting to know the area a little, to recognize differences in culture and just having good times with each other, but I can’t wait until tomorrow when we get down to business doing what we came here to do. We learned last night that one of the projects we can work on is just a frame of a house, and the other is some renovations; I know it will be cool to work with the carpenters on either. Still a little apprehensive about the warning of snow- I hope it won’t stop our work!
Started the day by meeting up with my ASB team at March Field at seven in the morning. I woke up with a great attitude knowing that our journey to Hazard, Kentucky was going to be a blast. Eleven hours went by on the road, and I experienced a whole new part of the East Coast. I saw several mountainous hillsides and many cows on the farm. We took several driving shifts, and got to know each other very well. As we got further south, I began to notice the rural poverty in the hillsides of Kentucky. I saw trailer parks, mobile houses, worn down neighborhoods and empty houses. I knew that I was in an area where rural poverty was affecting the communities and lives of people. I saw neighborhoods where there were no sidewalks on the street; houses were bunched together and had weak infrastructures. I was so unused to such sight. Everyone on our trip had the same initial reactions when seeing such communities. Once we settled down, everyone took the time to reflect on his or her car rides. We came to the agreement that we were going to work as hard as we could to help the rural poverty conditions in Hazard, Kentucky. Now that the day is over, I look forward to the next few days full of service and memorable experiences!
Still packing…but excited for the trip ahead of us! I think we have a great group of people that get along well with each other, so this will make for an interesting drive…11 hour drive (I really hope we have some dope playlists). During the team meetings and especially the pre-service I think we all got to know each other a little bit more. Now that we’re a little bit more comfortable with each other I think this will certainly help us in terms of team work and communication as we head to Kentucky to repair and build homes.
I can’t believe we are finally leaving tomorrow! I have been planning this trip since the summer and I’m really excited for everything to come together. The 11 hour drive is going to be rough but our group is REALLY talkative and we get along really well. On my trip last year, very few of us knew each other before the trip, this group has a very different feel. I ended up loving my group last year and I hope my experience this year ends up the same. We are going to Hazard, a coal town in Eastern Kentucky to build/repair houses. I am hopeful that we will have a chance to meet the homeowners and interact with them. For me, there is nothing that helps me understand what and why I am doing more then talking to the local people. I’ve been waiting for this week for a long time and I can’t wait for it to begin!
As midterms and various work has been piling on relentlessly, spring break and our trip to Kentucky has been creeping up very steadily, and now it’s only three days away. I know our whole group feels a mixture of emotions just as I do- relief there’s a break, excitement for the trip, a slight pang of longing for a week to myself, it’s all there.
I just know that once classes are over and we are out on the trip, we’re going to have the best time. I have personally have been absent for some of the team building we’ve done, so I can’t wait to actually get to know everyone on the trip. And I can’t wait to be doing the project! I feel like our trip is so necessary, with the economic hardship on us all it’s important that everyone works together to pull ourselves out of tough times. It feels good to help my fellow human beings and I’m eager to get started.