Well greetings my loyal followers!
I probably shouldn’t say that… It makes me feel like a word that I do not know is appropriate for the blogosphere.
I would like to apologize for not blogging in so long, schoolwork seemed to put me in some form of time-warp where I was unsure of the day or time. In fact I did not know that spring break was last week, until the previous week my professors told us on Monday to have safe travels. I don’t know, I think sometimes The Tower has the ability to put you in some frozen moment in time.
Here, if I was a loyal Harry Potter follower, I would put whatever that thing is that girl used in one of those books. If you know what I am talking about, please comment below and let me know… I only read the first book and watched the first and last movies.
Anyway, beyond the fact that The Tower has had me in some form of a time warp (cue the Rocky Horror Picture Show), last week was spring break for us and I just wanted to give everybody a heads up on what I did.
At The University, there is an organization that I am a member of called “University Service Corp” and through them, you can participate in Alternative Spring Break.
Alternative Spring Break is where instead of going to Florida, South Padre, or Mexico, you can spend your time doing a service project with your fellow longhorns. Last year was the first year that I participated and I, along with about 19 other students, went to Jacksonville, Florida. I had an amazing time.
This year, when the opportunity presented itself to once again participate, I signed up on the first day. This year, the trip options were between Durango, Colorado and Carlsbad, New Mexico… Of course, I have a deep love for Colorado and chose that trip.
We left early on Sunday morning at roughly 4:00; however, a little degree of difficulty was added since the morning we left was Daylight Savings Time and threw everybody’s alarms off. Luckily, we all made it on time and got onto the road safely.
Our first stop was in Lubbock, Texas, for brunch. I am trying not to remember too much about Lubbock… I mean, the city was fine; however, driving there was a big open space of dirt.
Our next stop was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we had dinner with Aubrey’s parents (Aubrey is one of the ladies who went on the trip). Aubrey has to have some of the nicest parents I have ever met. They opened up their hearts and made us all feel like members of the family. They took us to dinner, talked to us and actually paid attention to what we were saying, and even gave us goody baskets for the road. By goody bags, I mean real candy… They gave us snickers, m&m’s, and goldfish… Real candy. They were so nice, they even hugged us all when we were leaving. I know it personally put some of my mother’s worries at ease whenever she found out that Aubrey’s parents were there to help us if we had any problems.
Finally, we made it Durango. If you have never driven up the mountain roads in the dark… It is a very interesting experience.
The whole week we spent there was amazing. We volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County and did various projects that they had. We built a covered shed for them to put various appliances, we started building shelves that they will put in the shed, we cleared off lots for construction (Chuck Norris looks to Donna for advise), and we delivered bedding items to the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.
However, before we were ever able to do any of those activities, we had to break away chunks of ice off of the ground. You know, coming from Texas, the most ice I have ever seen was maybe a quarter of an inch… I don’t know, I never really got out there and measured it. This I though… It was between 1 and 3 inches thick, on concrete. So breaking it out was something very difficult. There were some injuries when the ice chunks started flying from the sledge hammer (so sorry Supi) but overall, we decided it was great anger management. Its funny, the most peaceful people were the best at breaking the ice… Think on that one.
The ladies and gentlemen that we worked with throughout the week were absolutely great! They made us feel at home with everything. The two ladies that I personally loved working with the most were Laurie and Donna. Laurie was almost like our mother… She was the one that made sure we were well taken care of and at the end, she presented each of us with customized rewards based on stories or activities that we had done during the week. It really meant a lot because it showed that she actually listened to our horrible, sometimes inappropriate, stories.
The other lady was Donna. Donna is one of those women that when she speaks you listen. I would imagine her as a combination of Michelle Obama, a Russian wrestler, and Margaret Thatcher. Here is how Donna works… I only knew her for two hours when she asked the group who the tallest person was… Of course, I raised my hand… She then told me to climb this wobbly ladder onto a roof to store parts of the roof and wood. Mind you, I did not ask any questions, I simply did what I was told… You don’t question Donna. By the end of our two days working with Donna there had been several jokes developed… Oh, true story really quick. So we were moving some lumber from one area of the worksite to another and all of a sudden we come across a bee. Donna picks up the wood and blows the bee away. Yes, even bees do not want to mess with Donna. So yeah, she’s pretty much AMAZING!!! “Chuck Norris dresses as Donna for Halloween” ~ I don’t know who said that but it was one of us.
We not only worked hard but we played hard as well. We went to Mesa Verde National Park and drove the San Juan Scenic Loop and saw some awesome country and went sledding. The people I was with made the trip all that much better. We laughed a lot… Wanted to kill each other regularly… and I think only cried a few times (I honestly don’t remember who or if anybody cried but it looks better having three levels instead of two). Last year I made some of my greatest friends going to Jacksonville and I can already tell that this years trip to Durango, Colorado will produce just as many lifelong friends.
So I would now like to end (I know you have been wondering when this would be over for a couple of paragraphs now) by encouraging all Longhorns that are reading this to join University Service Corp and to participate in Alternative Spring Break. I absolutely loved it and have made some memories and friends that I will never forget. So next year when Spring Semester comes along… Get to googling and find out where you can go!
Ciao and Hook’em!