14 September 2010

grid project - week 9

What?! Two posts in one day?! That's madness, I tell you, MADNESS!

Sunday, July 18: Rode to Boone County, West Virginia for a mission trip.
What I didn't include in the last post was that the Saturday night I got back from Minnesota was also the night of the softball lock-in...so I was up until about 2am for that, and then woke up at 5am to pack for a week-long mission trip with an organization called Appalachia Service Project. I took a couple of kids from my parish, but we were with a larger group from St. Alexis up the road. I really wanted to see what it was like (without the pressure of bringing a ton of kids) so I can grow the group next year. So after 8am Mass at St. Alexis, we were off! That said, everything for Week 9 of the Grid Project has to do with learning skills and having fun on the mission trip. WOO!

Monday, July 19: Caulked the seams on the foundation of a house.
Yep. I think several of these things will be pretty self-explanatory.

Tuesday, July 20: Learned how to play Euchre.
Euchre is one of those old people card games that folks get really intense about in nursing homes. And apparently, so do the folks from St. Alexis Life Teen. So I learned how to play! It's kind of like Hearts, but not. I don't know how to explain it, really. Either way, it was pretty fun--maybe I can go volunteer at a nursing home and play Euchre with the residents or something...though I'm not sure who would want to be my partner. There's a distinct difference between knowing how to do something and being good at it.

Wednesday, July 21: Installed soffit on a house.
Soffit is cool stuff. Click here for a picture of how soffit, fascia (read "FAY-sha"), and gutters are supposed to work together on a house. Unfortunately, the soffit, fascia, and gutters for the house we were working on was absolutely terrible. So what did we do? We replaced it, of course...or at least started to. It was pretty intense. We got about half of the front side of the house done (about 30 feet of it) by the time we were done on Friday.

Thursday, July 22: Learned how to use a pop rivet gun.
Pop rivets are sweet, but I still haven't quite figured out how they work. For the sake of our argument, let's just assume it's magic. However pop rivets work, I got to do it. I felt really cool too. It was interesting how the roles of our crew members sort of decided themselves almost immediately when we started work on Monday...and how much they were determined by gender. You know, the girls doing things like painting and cleaning, and the guys doing...manly stuff, with power tools and the like. Of course, I'm not one to just accept gender stereotypes, so I was up on the ladder as much as possible--or using a drill, or a pop rivet gun, or a table saw.

Friday, July 23: Went to prom!
This one's going to take a lot of explaining, in two parts. First--the prom itself. ASP does fundraising within each week of service to help pay for the materials used at the work sites. The main way they do this is through something called Penny Wars, which is a competition between all the work crews. As an incentive to raise lots of money, the staff sets various benchmarks for dollar amounts. One of those benchmarks happened to be...a PROM. So naturally, we got a prom on Friday night. Now on to the second factor--chores. At the beginning of the week, we were separated into work crews. In addition to working together at our job sites throughout the week, we were also responsible for doing chores together every day. There was a giant chart in the hallway with various chores next to each crew's name. One unique chore is called "staff love," which involves showing the five staff members that you love them and appreciate all the hard work they do, and which we were assigned on Friday. It could be something simple like making them cards or buying their favorite snacks at the store...but our work crew is not the simple kind of crew. We staged an elaborate ceremony at the prom involving a scavenger hunt, each of the staff members' favorite Dairy Queen Blizzard, and all of it culminating in the staff members walking into a pitch black gymnasium, the lights flicking on, and the staff members being crowned the kings and queens of the prom. It went so well...I couldn't imagine it going any more perfectly than it did. And after that, we went back to dancing the night away. It was SO AWESOME! And I think the staff felt loved!

Saturday, June 24: Took a really nice shower and slept in a bed.
After a full week of sleeping on the floor and being in a constant state of dirtiness, it was absolutely heavenly to be able to sleep in my own bed and take a decent shower. It also made me think about all the blessings I have, and about how much I take them for granted sometimes. All in all, it was a very powerful and life-changing week, and one that I can't WAIT to be a part of next year!

And now, I'm going to sleep. It's way past my bedtime, and I've got a dreadful cold. Love you, miss you, blah blah blahhhhh...ahhh...ahhhhhhhh...ACHOO!

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