Well, folks, it's finally happening. I've got the pictures uploaded and the stories typed. Here's the first part of my long ramble about my trip, now over a month since. It's random and probably longer than y'all wanted. Maybe no one's even reading this. But here it is, just in case. ;)
Saturday starting off by me getting up around 4:40 AM (before my alarm went off, of course...). We met up with the group (5 from our church + 2 others) and set out on our journey by 6:00.
And...we sorta kinda arrived at the school where we would be staying before the set check-in time. *cough* We wasted as much time as we could in Chick-Fil-A and still got there 30 minutes early. :P (We were told that the 'prize' for being the first there was cleaning the bathrooms...thankfully that was a joke.)
Everyone was really nice though, and let us go on in and drop our stuff in our rooms. Me, my Mom, and the two other gals with our group had one side of a third-grade classroom. After claiming our spots (and making sure we had outlets because #phonechargers), we had plenty of time to wander the grounds before the welcome rally, which was originally scheduled for 3:00.
So we did. We wandered the halls of the school...found the gym, the boys' hall, the showers...sorta kinda set off a fire alarm *awkward coughing*...and then found out there had been a change of plans.
The welcome rally was postponed until 8:00 (since a group that was traveling a long distance had not yet arrived), but the adults still had meetings to attend and, hey, everybody knows that 150 unchaperoned teens is not a good idea. So we were corralled into the gym and the guy scheduled to preach the following night during worship shared his testimony.
I mean, yeah, I did have to text Mom to come let us in (because those doors lock behind you, friends) but that's irrevelant. Totally irrevelant.
All week there were these serious basketball games going on in the gym with mostly guy participants. Like...its hot enough, y'all. Just watching you makes me tired...and sweaty...
Have I mentioned that that place has *the* prettiest sunsets I've ever seen in person? <3 <3 (You'll see many more such pictures, I can promise you.)
Anywho, we got back, attended the rally, learned what was going on (I totally did not know before that XD), and got our orders for the next day. And played charades, laughed until our sides hurt (while Mom was trying to talk on the phone to Dad XP), and went to bed really late.
Sunday was our first 'real' day – when we would wear yellow shirts, meet our crews, and meet the homeowners we would be serving that week. After everyone donned there bright yellow SOS t-shirts, we had breakfast at the church that served us two meals a day (dedicated people, y'all). We were told that we were the brightest group they'd ever had. "I didn't say the smartest, just the brightest", the guy joked, and everyone laughed because it was 7:00 in the morning and some of us probably weren't even sure why everyone was laughing. But we laughed.
We returned to the school and gathered in the gym to meet our crews. Which...was kinda awkward for awhile as everyone sat or stood around and tried to get a feel for everyone else (at least that's what I did... :P)
Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures on Sunday, but it was amazing. My crew of 11 teens + 3 adults got somewhat acquainted, attended church and Sunday school, ate lunch, met our homeowners, and we're back at the school by mid-afternoon. We had supper followed by a worship service at the aforementioned church that night, just like every other with the exception of Saturday and Wednesday.
And we went back to Walmart. Because...actually, I don't know why we went. But we did...several nights that week, actually. One of the girls on our group got mistaken as a foreign exchange student (don't ask, because I really don't know how the security guard got that from their brief conversation but he did) and we bought coffee and UNO cards and returned to the school.
Monday was when everything really set in. Getting up at 5:30 and going to the church for breakfast. Loading onto a bus with the crew, after the send-off rally, and driving to the jobsite.
And it was a good day. It was pretty obvious right off that everyone on my crew was there for the right reasons. Not to goof off and let others carry the load, but to work hard for Christ's glory.
Not only did we unload a trailer of supplies, and rip-up and re-shingle one whole end of the front of the roof (pictured above before work began), but we got done with that in time to rip up a strip across the top all the way down and put it back! And we still got back to the school before we were supposed to (4:00). Somebody called somebody who sent somebody and...yeah, we got let inside pretty quickly. Which meant first crew to the showers and no standing in line. Very important. XD
A random picture of my very dirty jeans. It doesn't even do justice to how positively filthy I was. It's a good kind of dirty though, ya know? The kind that comes with a feeling of accomplishing something good for someone who appreciates it. <3
I snuck a picture of my pretty momma while we were waiting for everyone to get together so we could head out for supper and worship. ^-^ At worship on Monday night, my crew's leader (who's also a pastor) gave the message.
Oh, look. Three days in and Faith's stuff had already exploded into a messy mound. *beams*
Oh, yes. Tuesday. An awesome day with lots of stories to tell. ;) On Monday night, Mom talked to Dad and he was like "tell Faith to take lots of pictures!" So on Tuesday, Faith (like the obedient daughter she is) took lots of pictures. Be thankful y'all are only getting about 1/3–1/4 of them. :P
The house we worked at...with a crew member (also a gal from my youth group <3) photobombing.
People unloading ladders...and people watching people unload ladders. *winks because I was apparently a watcher*
On Tuesday, we took off the remaining old shingles on the front side of the house, which was mostly two valleys and the porch roof.
When putting down the new shingles, the valleys had to be 'laced', so that made for slower growing, but also the chance to learn something new. (Okay, okay, so the whole concept of shingling a house was new to me, buuuttttt... :P)
Tuesday was also the day that the incident began. #storytime
Okay, so, the A/C was out at the house where we were working and it was HOT, y'all. So Tuesday morning, some guys came to work on it (actually, I think they replaced the entire unit, but that's irrelevant). And as they were leaving...they got stuck...in the yard. *points to below picture*
Someone brought this to our leader's attention and was like "um, they keep looking up here. I think they expect our help". Yeah, probably...but I think they were also wondering why a bunch of teenagers were on someone's roof. xD
So after watching them only get themselves into a worse mess, the guys went down to help them try to push the truck out of the ruts they'd created...but that wasn't happening. Mr. John (our leader) said he guessed he'd "have to go pull them out". Only...it didn't happen that way. Instead, he too got stuck in the yard...before he even got to the other truck!
A bit later, the wrecker the A/C people had called for arrived and Mr. John went down to ask if they would pull him out too. Quite the excitement! And there's more of that story to come. ;)
Us girls got a break while the guys were helping with the trucks. ;D
Guys on their phones... Ya know, just to break the 'girls are always on their phones' stereotype.
Five people trying not to stroke-out from the heat. XD
Muddy truck tires...and a blackmail picture. XD
Tuesday afternoon, reinforcements were called in. The trailer was still in the – very wet – front yard. And since the truck got stuck without the trailer, Mr. John surely wasn't going to try to drive back into the yard to get the trailer out. So...someone came with a forklift. Drove in, hooked up to the trailer, pulled it halfway around the house, and...started spinning. The trailer was abandoned and the forklift left before another wrecker had to be called in. :P
Tuesday we were...not the first ones back to the school. Probably more like the last, since at 4:00 (the earliest time we were supposed to return) we were still on the roof. :P
Part two coming soon! Have you ever been on a trip of this sort? Did you enjoy the post? Was I too rambly? :P