Hey Girl, Heeeeeeeey

Morgantown, West Virginia has seemed pretty neat so far and if I weren't dependent on the van for transportation I think I would be having a lot more fun. It's hard living so far out of town and having to negotiate driving times and plans and all that jazz. Also, because we live so far out of town and the roads are winding with no shoulder, I will not be able to ride a bicycle as planned. Sigh.

I hate to seem like Debbie Downer but I've been fairly homesick and I don't have much motivation for this project. Our plans have changed quite a bit because of issues the different organizations have encountered and there's even talk of us getting pulled from this project and sent somewhere else part-way through. The Greater Morgantown Area Youth Commission had their building taken from them by the city and given to a museum organization of sorts so all the work they had done so far is canceled and they are left homeless again. The city has changed plans so many times now-- the kids have been working for the teen center for a couple years now and with the new building that has been promised there are more worries about whether this is going to be another temporary plan only to be taken away after the work has been done. I believe this is their 3rd of 4th location. It looks like we may be doing no construction and we're all a bit disappointed, although still hopeful that something good will come soon. I feel bad for the teens; their plans have been tossed to the side for so long now and it's apparent that this college town doesn't care so much for the up and comings of the next generation. Or at least they have a hard time keeping their word. Woops, I'm not supposed to get involved of the politics of it all. As an AmeriCorps NCCC member I'm supposed to remain neutral.

Living in the woods at the Boy Scout camp has its benefits and drawbacks. Sadly we don't have access to a real kitchen, rather a corner of our cement cabin has shelves, a single electric burner, microwave, toaster, and mini-fridge, all for the cooking needs of 10 people. We walk to the bathroom to wash dishes because there is no water in the cabin and there's not a whole lot of space to store fresh vegetables or meat. I think I would rather live in a tent and cook for myself. Luckily it's still beautiful here! The hills seem straight out of a movie. Two days now have been filled with drizzly rain and light fog, adding a surreal sense to this new location.

On a happy note, my team is really great. All the girls have vowed to be healthier and we are all running at least 4 or 5 days per week. The hills are giving me some killer muscles! Britney Spears lost 15 pounds in 4 weeks... so I must be able to lose 10 in 6. I mean, come on. Ha!

Oh, good news! Both Sara & myself were accepted for Summer of Service! I will be living in New Orleans for a good month and a half working with youth again. My heart rate picks up speed whenever I think about it. My heart has never felt so full as it did in Biloxi and at night I dream about going back there to see the kids. I miss them fiercely. I hope, hope, hope that I will be able to form friendships with the young people we'll be working with and that we'll all be able to learn together. I don't yet know the details of the program but as soon as I hear I'll post.

Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it was the story of the Cottontail Rabbit family living at my parents' house. Maybe it's the fact I've never met my nephew, or that I'm losing contact with my youngest brother, or that I just miss the lifestyle that I had, but Utah sounds pretty great right now.

By the way, The Color of Water is one of my favorite books now. Any book that moves me to tears is a good one and this man and his mother's experiences are moving. The book tells the story of a young man born to a family of 12 children to a white, Jewish mother and black, Christian father. The interracial challenge in the 1960's wasn't the only challenge they faced, but poverty and growing up the projects of NY made life harder and brought the family closer together. To the Evans family, it made me think of you. The kids, the chaos, the love of it all.

I am now reading Manchild in the Promised Land, a story of a young African-American man growing up in Harlem in the 50's when Heroin took its hold on the young people and violence was their way of life. James was the lucky one, he experienced it all at a young age: dabbling in drugs, getting shot, dealing, and an abusive home. Had he waited until he was older he would have fallen into the trap of it all and not made it out like he did. The book rambles on sometimes but it's good for me to read about something completely opposite the life I grew up with.

Expecting to finish this book today, the next in line is A Long Way Gone. I'm noticing a pattern in my choices of books and to mix it up I have Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Farmers' Market, fresh cut hay, beef from home = Appreciation for good food. I enjoy knowing the people that grow my food, and I especially enjoy growing my own. That summer I spent with Stephen, growing veggies in the garden of his father's home was wonderful.

Today just got a little bit better. I plan on spending the entire afternoon and evening in town, and probably attending a Dances of Universal Peace class, including circle & partner dances, with movements, chants, and music from many different spiritual traditions around the world. I wonder if I could find African Dance classes here? Hmmm...

Comments

  1. Hey. We've driven through and stopped for dinner in Morgantown a couple times and I really liked the city itself. After your post, not as much, but it is scenic!

    I forget when you're coming back to Perryville for your 1/2 way training thing. Please let us know when you do because we'd love to get together again, maybe even w/out a dentist trip!

    Miss you! Keep up the awesome work!

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