Camping Adventures!

On Sunday, at 7:30PM, my fiancé and I made a last minute decision to go on the camping trip we planned one month ago. Earlier in the morning on Sunday we decided we were not going to be going because the weather forecast showed nothing but rain, but then it got to be later in the day and the rain had disappeared. I didn’t want $26 dollars and our smores supplies to go to waste, so we drove up to Red top Mountain and spent the night.

We pitched the tent in the dark, my flashlight died, we roasted weenies, burned marshmallows (okay, that was just me), and we woke up to a beautiful autumn view on Lake Altoona. I forgot how much I enjoy camping and we will definitely be doing this again, but maybe with friends! Camping is such a cheap and rewarding leisure activity; it is also a nice way to unwind if you feel you’ve been spending too much time around technology, work, and the general stressors in life.

Changes…

Our last day in New Bern, NC is now this upcoming Tuesday. This week has been insane. We ran into a situation a few days ago at a worksite, and then we were bombarded with A-DRT and FEMA representatives. Then, yesterday, we came to a standstill at one of our more consistent projects here, and me and my higher ups came to the conclusion that it would be best for Delta 4 to relocate.

So. The decision was made. On Tuesday, Delta 4 will be moving to Willard, NC (only 1.5 hours from New Bern) and we will stay there until the 26th. My former roommate’s and my sister’s teams are actually there, so that was a nice surprise. We will be staying at the Willard Outreach Community Center with the two other NCCC teams, some Utah Conservation Corps people, and another group that I cannot quite remember the name of. It’s about 50 people.

They have rooms inside of the center and a giant field outside. The rooms inside are taken up by cots and the field is dominated by tents. My sister is in a tent, so I will probably join her wherever she is. I have my own tent- that I actually just sprayed down with some Scotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield– so I will create the beginning of what will be the Delta 4 Tent City. We have 4 more 4-person tents on the way from campus because we didn’t foresee us needing them when we originally left campus. I wanted adventure and I am getting it.

Currently, there are 23 high schoolers living with us at the church. They are here on a club trip to build sheds for the church. So far, they’ve been relatively quiet, but I’m not shy about telling people to pipe down, so we’ll deal with that when it happens.

My team is at an ISP at the Veteran’s Organic Community Garden again, so I have the place (almost) to myself. I got some paperwork done and I suppose I should begin packing. Luckily, I really downsized on this Round, so packing should be super easy. For Round 3, I can see myself downsizing even more. If there is one thing I hope to get out of this AmeriCorps journey, it is minimizing the amount of “stuff” I think I need whenever I go somewhere. Wish me luck.

 

 

 

Happy Halloween & Happy November 1st!

I cannot believe that it is already November. These past few months have gone by so incredibly fast.

Yesterday was Halloween and Delta 4 celebrated by putting on Tyvek suits and getting $4 bowls at Chipotle!

The past week has consisted of removing insulation from underneath houses because apparently every other volunteer group only wanted to tackle the inside of homes. Personally, I don’t mind the work. It’s kind of fun sliding around on my stomach under people’s homes ripping out cotton candy stuff. Do know that I am in full Tyvek gear while doing this and have not been majorly affected by any fiberglass.

Yesterday also marked 1 week of being in New Bern, NC. It’s been an interesting experience thus far, and there have been several hiccups, but I suppose that it’s all part of the AmeriCorps NCCC adventure.

Today we are back at the Presbyterian church finishing painting. It looks like we’ll be working here a lot more than I initially thought/planned, but I suppose it’s for a good cause. There’s just a part of me that feels weird about painting walls when I know that there are people– who I have met and spoken to– who are currently sitting in moldy living conditions and need our help. I’m not the only person on the team who has this concern/feeling, but I’m trying to focus on the good that this facility will do for the community.

Because this is a split round, we only have about 3 more weeks here. Next week, I will be doing a mid-project evaluation. I think I like having a split round, though; that means I’ll get to explore more new places than I would’ve not having a split round.

Hurricane Florence

Delta 4 is staying at Two Rivers Church. They are a non denominational Christian church that have opened their facilities to volunteer groups so they have a place to stay while helping the community recover. The boys stay in one section and the girls in another. Currently, my 5 females and I are in one of the children’s rooms. It’s a little tight, but the cots are pretty comfy. The church itself does not have showers, so there is a shower trailer outside of the building. The stalls are actually very spacious and clean, so I can’t complain.

Our sponsor is the Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders. They stem from the organization Habitat for Humanity. Pete, is our main POC, and he is handing us over permanently to Wescott, a member of Two Rivers Church and someone who has taken an active role in helping his community. He has previous experience with muck and gut, as well as general handy skills, so Delta 4 looks forward to learning a lot from him.

So, my team seems to be the only team with an actual sponsor; everyone else is working under the AmeriCorps- Disaster Response Teams. I just had a call with a planning chief from ADRT and I will be required to submit certain information about the hours and the work Delta 4 has done every day at 7pm. My team is unique in the way that we are currently only working 5 days per week– everyone else is 6 days or more. I’m sure that we will probably be bumped up too.

New Bern, NC is beautiful. The sunrises and sunsets are to die for; now I know why every Nicholas Sparks movie ever was filmed here. There is a beach a little under 2 hours from us that we are probably going to visit soon. Today, there is a farmer’s market downtown, and we made plans to go there around 10:30am.

This is random, but 3 in 1 shower products are a life saver in this program. That is all.

Our first full day was spent mucking a house about an hour away from our housing. The couple, Roy and Judy, had been using Roy’s childhood home as their summer getaway, but this was the third time that a hurricane had really done damage, so my team was probably the last to be in there.

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Yesterday, our second full day, we were at Neuse Forest Presbyterian Church. By early 2019 they hope to have a permanent “volunteer village” disaster housing for future hurricanes. We sealed in the walls with Kilz and next week we’ll help put up drywall and remove some insolation. After that, there are more houses to be mucked and gutted.

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65º F

It has been raining since yesterday afternoon and it was finally cold enough to truly snuggle into my sleeping back last night! I turned off the window unit for A/C in the lodge for the first time since arriving, too.

I have written over 20 letters at this point in the past 24 hours to various friends and family back in Georgia and elsewhere. I will send those out tomorrow. I also sent an email to a stranger asking to be pen pals, so I’ll keep everyone posted on that.

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My unit leader is currently 3.5 hours away; he is coming to spend the day tomorrow working with us and checking up on the general health of the team. We cleaned the lodge and made sure to plan a filling meal at least for tomorrow night- I doubt that he will be eating with us tonight seeing as they probably won’t arrive until 9pm.

Tomorrow, we’ll be continuing painting the dining hall if the weather holds up, but if it does not, then we will be cleaning the inside of the dining hall and the recreation hall.

The rest of my night will consist of getting dinner and watching the Golden Girls!