An obnoxious sound rings in my ear. I swear I open my eyes, but I see nothing. A few seconds later I feel the pain in my lower back as my mattress sags towards the ground and I remember, oh yes! I am in a psych ward! There are bars on my windows! My bedroom door does not lock! If I walk down the hall I will be met by 86 other unique individuals who have no idea what to do with their lives! Together we will walk to the VA gymnasium where we'll yell loud noises as we get into military formation to do side-straddle-hops and more push-ups than I've ever done. to date.
PT over, I grab my hoodie and hit the pavement for a sunrise run around "the point". I'll be the only one there - just me, the sun, the chesapeake bay, the birds, and the stray cats. It's still. It's quiet. And I'm alone. *sigh*
Team meeting to discuss the day's projects, goals, etc.
Work work work! Could be a project briefing. Or perhaps service in Baltimore with, for example, The Moveable Feast, a non-profit providing meals and human-interaction for hundreds of AIDS victims throughout Maryland who can't leave there homes as well as a number of homeless individuals. OR perhaps we'll clean the Brandywine Zoo in Delaware! Or drag brush and clear trails in any number of state parks throughout the area. Or maybe today we'll have random drug tests! Or learn how to use power tools! Or how to set up and tear down a disaster shelter? Why not?
Return to the psych ward to cook dinner in our team kitchen with the $200 of food we have for the eleven of us for the week. If I'm not on to cook, this is more run time!
DINNER! Depending on who cooked this can be a wonderful time or a learning experience. ;)
Clean the ward.
Team Meeting in the laundry room.
It's the life, people. It's the life.
haha okay really, it's not so bad. pretty cool, actually. I have a team of 11 people (including me). For the next 9 months these people are my family. I'm not ready to explain them yet except to say that we're special. Really, really special. *ahem* but really, we just might be the most diverse, unique group of all the 21 teams that make up Class 16. From California to NY, downtown chicago to boonies ohio, black to white, musicians to jocks, gay to straight, christian to atheist, 18 to 24... we're diverse. all entirely different. but whether we liked each other on the first day or not, we're in this together. our mission for the next 9 months is to "get things done for America", which means the differences can't matter. They can't be anything. As much as we're going to gain and grow in the coming months, they're not for us.
Tomorrow we leave for our first of four major projects for the year. We'll be in Harpers Ferry, WV working with a group called For Love of Children that aims to take kids out of inner-city DC that they might be able to experience nature and discover themselves outside city life. We're going to build composting toilets, clear 12 miles of trails, paint buildings, build benches, and a bunch of "behind the scenes" conservation/environmental work...
Let's see, what else that might be of interest.
I passed my drug test! ;)
One of our four major projects will most likely be in New Orleans, or somewhere along the gulf doing relief work.
I did my first presentation since college last week. Before every major project we have to do extensive research and present to a board, including the Director of the NCCC Atlantic Region. Never imagined I'd spend countless hours doing research in a library for a deadline ever again but, alas, it has happened and will be happening again.
I will be writing a more emotional entry to follow this one. don't worry, i haven't changed that much. :D