Where's Waldo?


Just a quick update about my travels since Summer of Service ended. I stayed in New Orleans for an extra week (my summer break) to work with my team who is rebuilding a home in the upper 9th ward. It was great to finally do a bit of reconstruction in the gulf! I loved my time in New Orleans and was sad to say goodbye. I must say, however, the sights while circling over the bayou and seeing the gulf waters from the height of a plane is a touching experience. What beauty!

I ended up in Perry Point, Maryland at the Eastern Region campus of AmeriCorps NCCC again, our headquarters for the year, and was soon shipped out to a most beautiful part of Southern Delaware at Cape Henlopen State Park. I do wish I had a camera to show you the many sites, alas my digital is still broken from fire deployment at the first of the year. I hope to soon mooch some pictures from the people I was working with and post them here so you too can feel a bit of awe. The moment after arriving at the housing of our temporary project we dropped our bags and walked a few short minutes to the sandy beach of the Atlantic Ocean, crested the grassy dune, and were greeted with a scene from heaven-- dolphins tossing one another in the air! That afternoon we swam in the salty waters only about 30 feet from those majestic mammals.

I did a couple days work in the state park but was pulled (along with a few others) to be sent on a FEMA disaster deployment to Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. Currently I am on the outskirts of Toledo, Ohio, en route to our 30 day project where we will be mucking/gutting homes and working on mold remediation. The damage we are working to mitigate was caused by major flooding a couple months ago; remember the news of the mid-west being inundated by rain? Iowa and Missouri have also been receiving help and we are going in to replace a team that's already been there a while. I hear the days are long at a minimum of 10 hours, 6 days a week. But after SOS, I think I can handle anything.

Eagle 4, my regular team, reunites soon. Our next project is with Habitat for Humanity in Bridgeport, Connecticut and I will join them late to participate in the great work sometime at the end of September or beginning of October, whenever we are released from our duties in Wisconsin.

My only regret/hesitation is giving up my fall break to do this disaster deployment. We are given 3 solid breaks through our NCCC commitment: spring, summer & fall. I spent my spring break firefighting, my summer break was postponed until the end of SOS and was scheduled to be only 2 weeks before fall break so I spent it working with my team, but now fall break has almost arrived and I will be working right through it as well. Thank goodness that I took a few personal days in May and was able to get home for some family time and a busy break. I'm a pretty strong gal... but I worked an insane amount of hours during SOS... and I guess disaster will clock us plenty of (unpaid) overtime. I'm sure I can relax my body and mind after graduation on November 15.

I joined AmeriCorps NCCC for the experience and hard work. I want to get the most out of it through whatever avenues.

PS. I am a bit tired and a bit homesick. Maybe a letter, or care package (MOM)? I can promise something great in return like a mid-western post card! Call me for my most current address.

Oh, and a quick note. I'm attempting a new training schedule. New Orleans added a few pounds to my frame and I'm hoping to run a half marathon in October so I'm going to start running again with hopes that the shin splints won't return.

Shout out to Mom! She ran her first 5k today and placed 2nd in her age group! Way to go Mom, you are an inspiring woman. I've said it since I was little, but you are my hero.

Truly yours,

Amanda Lyn


  1. Mandy! You are so amazing! I thought of you the whole day today. (it was the first day of school). I just keep thinking... "this class will help me be as smart as mandy!" hahah. I am excited. It sounds like you are having tons of fun. I love you!


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