Reflection: Round 2

Our project in Morgantown, West Virginia was hard to adjust to. I came into the project with expectations and when different assignments disintegrated, so did my morale. I believe my sanity suffered a direct blow. I began talking with a lisp, in a different voice, with a different name. In fact, I took in multiple personalities to make our days go by faster. Imagining I was some other person made everything better. No kidding.

Water was my saving grace. If Christians need to be baptized to be whole again, the same was true for me. Escaping to Utah restored some of my lost ambition and upon my return, I became amphibious. I absorbed water every time the opportunity was presented: Cheat River, Decker’s Creek and its tributaries, runoff water at Coopers Rock, torrential rains, floating mists among the hills, and a smelly swamp. Sarah, our sponsor from Friends of Decker’s Creek, exacted my feelings with her observation: “Amanda, I can tell you really are in your element out here.”

On any given day I can be found, at some point, dreaming of spending my days outdoors. Yes, our rummage sale was technically held out doors, but the cement stairs of that football stadium led me nowhere.

If I were to rate individual experiences in West Virginia on a 1-10 scale, some of those times would be off the charts. People made the project what it was. Lisa, our sponsor with United Way, made every effort to ensure our comfort and was a most hospitable host to our temporary hometown. Her enthusiasm pushed us through endless days of sorting clothes, and on that final day of the sale the sun shone on us—I was overjoyed to carry bargain-priced furniture to a woman’s truck. The fruits of our labor were born, over and over again that day.

Highlights include:

The Boy Scout camp: mouse nibbled bread, fresh air, silly jokes, creativity, books, and foggy hills, cows and colorful trees.

Decker’s Creek: Slick rock water slides, waders, Sarah & Walt’s beautiful home

Blue & Goldmine Sale: Antoine & Chuck, dress up days, the fury of Saturday.

Most of all, I’m grateful for my team. We are a solid group of individuals, coming together and fighting for a not-so-lost cause.


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