Day 3: Blue Car is the best car

By now we have really gotten into the swing of things. Wake up, breakfast, stop by Dunkin for coffee (by now I think they know us), and go to the work site. I feel like I speak for the entire group when I say we accomplished the most today. Our first job was to go to a storage house, take everything out, inventory it, and put it up neatly. We were aided by several other adult volunteers who’s personalities made the morning beyond enjoyable. I can’t stress enough just how well we work together. A job that should have taken the whole day was done by lunch…yes, that efficient.

After a quick lunch break, we met back up with Dana and Doug from the first day at our original location in the park. Our job for the afternoon was to build these mini compost gardens. After a bit of heavy lifting to get things ready, we began to work. We weren’t at work long before the most interesting man in the world returned. Yes, that’s right, Zimbabwean Chris. Much to our dismay, he informed us that we yet again were not properly equipped to do the task asked of us. After a bit of clean up, we left slightly discouraged.

We returned to the church for a bit of downtime before going out to dinner and dessert. After we finished, we came back and enjoyed what might have been the most enjoyable night of the trip. We shared highs, lows, and how we grew from this trip. We really got to know each other over games and cemented what are sure to be very strong friendships. After a last bit of work tomorrow morning, we will return to Auburn, changed for the better.

Day 2: 25 pb&j’s

7am waking up in the morning…it’s Friday, Friday, getting down on Friday. After getting our fix (coffee that is) we were ready for some service. Today, we took on the food pantry, under the impression we were composting. We arrived a little ahead of schedule because we were THAT ready. First, we got cookin by bagging macaroni to be used to feed the needy. Boxes full of bags of delicious, whole wheat, macaroni…we were a well oiled machine. Then…it was time. The composting. We stepped out of the center and beheld the vast horizon of cardboard, wooden pallets and decomposing food products. Challenge accepted. We put on our gloves and got to sorting. Salvation came in the form of a Zimbabwean Macgyver, a gentleman named Chris. After informing us we were not equipped to do this job and sharing many life stories and lessons, we went back into the center and started sorting beans.

While the work we did today may not have seemed important at the time, by taking on those jobs, we allowed other workers to take on more important tasks. We grew together as a unit as personalities began to shine today. It was inspiring to learn how the center literally started with only 25 pb&j’s to a force for service that feeds 600+ people daily. Not to mention, we met the most interesting man in the world…Zimbabwean Chris.

Not being satisfied with our efforts, still yearning to do more good, we returned to the church where we had the opportunity to do some hands on work. We were granted the chance to paint a room in the church. While we may not be artist, we worked hard and put a solid first coat of paint on the walls, aided by “hits of the early 2000’s” pandora. While things may have been “complicated” at first, we showed that “we would walk 1000 miles” if it meant we could have the chance to work.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Ohwait.  Let me start by saying 5am is not a good look on anyone, but much like auburn’s 2012 football season, we got over it.  After the predictably quiet ride into atlanta, we arrived at the church and proceeded to go get bagels. Hashtag delicious. From there, we continued to our work site. After an arduous journey up a hill, we approached the trail where we got down and dirty with our shovels. After a bit of digging, we removed the current steps so that future improvements could be made in the hope that many other generations will enjoy the new walking trail. We celebrated this small victory only briefly before continuing to our interview, where our words were recorded to inspire the youth of our nation.

Day 4 and 5- SEC Compact

We were lucky enough to be able to meet the members of the board of northwest Alabama Habitat for Humanity throughout this week. Many of them provided meals for us during the week and interacted with us on a daily basis.
Days 4 and 5 differed from the first two days because our team was divided and some of us were sent to work at different locations. One group of students went to an elderly woman’s house in the community and built railings and stairs on her front porch for her. The rest of us stayed at the site and continued to assemble the roof of the office and dig ditches to help fix the flooding issues on the site. On Friday a group of students went with the president of Northwest Alabman Habitat for Humanity to test the energy efficiency of local houses using a technology called blow door testing. The rest of the team stayed at the site and put up the last of the trusses to complete the roof of the structure. By the end of Day 5 the roof was finished, which was a huge accomplishment for the builders as well as our team.
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Dominican Day 5

 

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Hi friends it’s Maura! Today we went to the 27 waterfalls which was so much fun. We took some girls from the orphanage with us, and it was so awesome to watch them completely filled with joy, screams, and laughter during the entire trip. Some of the girls hadn’t even been out of their neighborhood, let alone 3-hours away. We had so much fun with the girls, as well as our bus driver Rafael, and our translator Reuben, hiking and going through the falls. A lot of us conquered fears of heights by jumping off big cliffs and it was so cool to watch. If you’re interested to see what the 27 waterfalls are there’s a link below. I can’t believe tomorrow is our last full day in the Dominican. This week has been so amazing and we’ve all grown so much as a group and individually.

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Hey! It’s Korica. Today we went on an adventure to the 27 waterfalls in the Dominican Republic. 5 of the older girls from the orphanage were able to go with us and it was so fulfilling for us to have them! This was the first time many of them got to see that side of the Dominican Republic. They were so excited to be able to go swimming for the first time. One of the girls, Claudia, said we were so brave for wanting to jump off the rocks but she was really the brave one. She jumped every jump, even the 30 feet one. Some of us even conquered our fear of heights by leaping into the water from the top. The whole day was just a super fun experience for all of us. We’ve all grown so close over the week and we can’t believe tomorrow is our actual last full day. See you all tomorrow!
 
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XOXO, DR Squad
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