Thursday, November 29, 2007

travel travel


This is Maggie and me when we were at camp in the Redwoods during CTI. We're throwing up the 4's for Gold 4 (our team)...and sporting our coveralls, which make me feel INVINCIBLE!

Aaaaand......


I am in Shreveport, Louisiana! Tomorrow we drive to Biloxi. Our iternerary thus far goes as follows:

1st night: Needles, CA (not much to report)

2nd night: Albuquerque (sp?), NM (Again, not too exciting...although we did get to stay in a Days Inn..big step up from Motel 6 the night before)

3rd night: Abilene, TX (we went bowling (!!!!) and it was quite the experience...and also had a voluntary dance party afterwards which was quite entertaining)

TONIGHT: Went to the Louisiana Boardwalk...basically an outdoor shopping center...HOWEVER, xmas music was playing and I got to dance all over and that made my night. Simply amazing.

Despite being crammed into a 15 passenger van, driving across country, this is one of the best times I have had since....CTI! Ha! Life just keeps getting better, I swear.

When we get to Biloxi, we will have some veg/tourist time on Saturday and then we have orientation on Sunday. Monday (my birthday!) we begin WORK! Yayyyyy!!!

I think it is quite fitting that I start work on my birthday. What a perfect way to begin my 23rd year, right? Doing what I love? Could it BE any better??!

There is a lot of joy bursting out of my being right now. Not sure if I can handle it!

Let me know if you have any questions about what I am going to be doing, I know I haven't been updating very much or explaining things too well...

I love you all and miss you. I hope everyone is smiling BIG!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

finishing up

It's been awhile! Things have been very busy, with today really the first respit, only because we are basically DONE with CTI (Corps Training Institute). The only thing left is to give our project briefing to the higher-ups, and then induction is tomorrow. I will officially be an AmeriCorps *NCCC member! Wahoo!

The past couple of weeks have been a lot of fun. I took a trip down to San Francisco for the weekend, spent 3 days in the Redwoods at camp, and had a wild and crazy night with some of the over-21-ers on my team. It's been so great to bond with everyone on my team and I truly feel like we are going to have a great time. I know I keep saying that...but it's strange to have such positive feelings bubbling forth so often! :)

I will update better at a later date...just wanted to let you all know that I am basically done with training and I head to BILOXI in less than a week! Monday is the day!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL. I sure know that I have a ton to be thankful for this year, I hope you do, too.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

fortunes

It's funny how I feel the cracks and the holes, the broken parts of my heart, slowly starting to fill themselves in. It's not necessarily because of one person but rather a group of relationships fostering a community in which laughter and hard work go hand in hand. I am no longer encompassed with all that is wrong with me. No, I am instead surrounded by encouragement and friendship. No one is asking me to change and I am not asking myself to.

I think I am changing. I am becoming so much happier with myself and who I am. But, it's not for someone else. It's for me. And whether I change or not, it doesn't matter, because whatever I am doing with myself, it is for me.

My team is amazing. I have not laughed so hard in quite some time. It's been a long time coming, and I am ready to have fun. To ache with joy for these people who I will spend the next 9.5 months with. We are going to have problems, but we are a family, we will get through them. And we will laugh about them later.

Yesterday we worked all day--the first half planting 70 trees in a beautiful park, the second half working at a local zoo/animal sanctuary. It was great to go home afterwards, knowing I had worked my butt off and I had made a difference. I can come back to Sacramento in 20 years and those trees I planted, they will probably still be there, providing much-needed shade. So, not only am I meeting amazing people who are filling up my heart, but I am doing service, which has always had that effect on me. What a great combination, right?

I am feeling oh-so-thankful that I am able to participate in this program at this point in my life. It could not have come at a better time, and I could not be happier to be here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I ran 3.5 miles the other day...for the Apple Hill Race which benefitted their local school district. It was so much fun and I feel great because I have never run that far, or on such a difficult/hilly course. YAY!

Here are some pictures of me, the girls from my "pod" that I did it with, and some other shots. I don't have it figured out where I can write notes between the pictures...help, anyone? :) Oh, and the first is of my roomie and I at the pumpkin patch a week ago! YAY for fun!

















So there are the pictures...it was a truly great day and I am so glad that I did it. After the run, I went to see Into the Wild, which was both heartbreaking and amazing. Made me a little homesick for AK!

This week we are doing a lot of training. Lesson in flexibility #4,911,038: the Red Cross might be able to do our disaster relief training (that they were not able to do previously due to the fires down south) but it will be during our 3 day weekend! Oh AmeriCorps, how I love that you keep me on my toes. It's actually great to not really know what is going on day-to-day...it is teaching me amazing sponteneity. LOVE it. :)

I have been so happy the past week, I really feel great. Hope everyone is doing well in your respective lives. mmmmmmmuah!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

quickly

I am absolutely exhausted but I thought I'd do a quick update to let everyone know my latest news....

I am going to Biloxi, Mississippi for my first spike (project)!! My team will be working for Northern Virginia Habitat for Humanity...we will hopefully build 9-10 houses, pretty much all of the way through! AH! I am so excited and so happy to be doing this. I can't wait to leave. Apparently Biloxi is less than 2 hours from New Orleans...and close to the water. We will be in an urban environment, living at a Lutheran Church with one room for us, one bathroom/shower inside, and 2 shower trailers outside. They will provide us with meals (bfast and dinner) Sunday through Friday but there may not be veggie options...so I will see how that goes!

Today (7:30-5) I volunteered at a kids carnival/festival at a nearby school--ran the duck pool game--and saw lots of great children. It was fun and felt great to be doing something rather than sitting on my butt all day on my day off. Tomorrow I am running a 5k in a supposedly beautiful area (Apple Hill, anyone?) and am pretty excited about that as well!

Things are busy and FUN and I am really feeling great about my team and the work we will be doing together.

YAY!

Off for a nap. :)