Transition.

AmeriCorps NCCC has proven itself a valuable part of my life so far and I'm nervous and excited to see what the next 6.5 months have in store for me.

Nearly the entire Perry Point corps is here in Jackson, Mississippi for transition week, a time during which we debrief staff on our recent project, present a portfolio of our accomplishments, brief the staff on our upcoming project, and receive additional training in our specialty roles. Including corps members, team leaders, and staff, AmeriCorps has roughly 300 people staying in one big hotel. We eat here, we have meetings here, we socialize here, and we're getting all of our information organized. It's hectic and fun and I feel sorry for the non-AmeriCorps affiliated guests at the hotel. The insanity we bring with us is just too much!

You know, there's something about sleeping in a hotel room that makes me homesick. I'm not sure I've ever slept in an establishment like this and not had that tumultous feeling in my gut-- it's not just in mind, it makes my body hurt! I imagine if the rooms were plain with boring bed sheets and white walls I would feel better about my stay since that's they way I keep my room, and if I didnt have to share my bed with a semi-stranger things would be a little better. At least I can rest in comfort knowing she share my last name! But with all the fancy quilts and curtains, bright television screens, and sterile smells and hollow walls, I yearn for the comfort of my mama's old waterbed, the aroma of hot dinner rolls, and the still noise of country life (not clanky air conditioners and restless pipes). I miss the smell of Zundel's dairy in the cool breeze of a summer night and the mountains all around me. As we drove into Jackson I kept asking myself when we would "drop into" in the city, and quickly realizing that my experience in going to and from the valley is nothing i've had since I left Utah disappointed me. The foliage here is bright green and abundant and there's not much change in elevation. I'll be ok.

Today was a rather busy day filled with meetings and my interview for Summer of Service. I believe the interview went well, and depending how it goes for the other 30something corps members being interviewed, I may or may not be chosen to be a crew leader in New Orleans for a 3rd round project away from my team. Summer of Service is essentially a summer work program for underpriveleged and at-risk youth ages 14-17 in the New Orleans area and my position would be as a mentor and leader. We all would live and work together in communal setting with 3 crew leaders to a crew of 10 youth, going out into communities in NCCC fashion to get work done and help each other understand the impact we can have. It sounds intense, eye-opening, fun and rewarding. I've tried to avoid raising my hopes to have them smashed down without much success and am impatiently waiting for the week of May 9th to find out the results. If this doesn't work out I still have a wonderful team to spend my time with and look forward to whatever the future holds.

Ah, speaking of my team! I suppose it's time for a break-down of members.

Yvonne: My team leader from a border town in southern Texas, she is full of beautiful latina fire. She raves for what she loves and rants for what she hates. We've had a rough start but are breaking through the shell and slowly learning how much we have in common. We had the heart-to-heart I'd been waiting for so long and I am happy.

Sara: Tall girl Sara with long blonde hair, a college graduate and friendly human being, is quickly becoming family to me. We joke about the poison ivy blisters on her arms and shared a bunk bed. She's sweet-- I doubt there is an ignorant or mean bone in her body. She worked hard in green space and rivals the men in strength. 10 in 8!

Amy: Tall girl Amy really looks nothing like Sara but I often slip and call her by the wrong name. I would say she is the team member I've bonded with most and I genuinely miss her during this week we are shoved in separate rooms. We spent a lot of time in conversation and reflection about our experiences in the schools of Biloxi and it brought us close together. When I'm sad it's her company I look for; she has a soothing voice, calm demeanor and a sense of humor that makes perfect sense.

Christy: Christy is the young woman I expected to get along with best and had we spent more time together in the last project I'm sure our friendship would have developed farther than the state it's in now. She's a girly-girl who now knows how to work an 8 hour day in physical labor, pee in the woods, and go without makeup. I know I can always hug her when I need physical affection and her style is impeccable. She is nearly always thinking about theater.

Now the men. :) Wait! I'll save them for another day. I need to get some sleep.

Comments

  1. It is so great to read about everything that has been happening. I am just picturing all of you guys taking over this hotel. I am excited to hear where you end up next. You are a wonderful example to me. I miss you. Thanks for commenting such sweet things on my blog. You are the best! Love you!

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