Monday, March 19, 2012

It feels like July

Tomorrow starts the beginning of week 2 here in Youngstown, OH! Six weeks left. The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) is a really cool organization, and it's obvious that they have a huge impact on this city.

We spent the week working at the Iron Roots Urban Farm clearing the lot and helping to build the tables for the green house. We'll be back at the farm this week finishing up so that they can start planting seeds.

There was a community work day on Saturday, and we boarded up some vacant houses and cleared another lot. It's been unusually hot for March so it's been a huge challenge for me to spend 9 hours working outside.

The team also received chainsaw training, though only three of us will be thoroughly trained and able to actually use it - Dustyn, Jackie, and Santonio.

We're staying at a church rectory just outside of the city. It's pretty nice, there's wifi so I can't complain too much.

I've already exceeded my goal for media hits, and it's only been a week. The Vindicator (local newspaper) as well as WKBN-27 came out on Friday. We were on the news that night. It was pretty cool.

This past week was so draining, I hope that it calms down a little. It's exhausting to have to wake up before 5 to work out and then go to work by 8 until 5:30. And then to have stuff after work every day. I don't know if I can handle another week like that. This week is also going to be difficult because our team leader has to leave for a funeral, so she'll be gone Wed.-Sun. We're getting one of the STL's, but I still think it's going to be kind of chaotic.

I'm trying to set up an ISP for next weekend and/or the following weekend at the Playhouse. I miss theatre so any opportunity to help out there would probably make my week.

There's also a really cool park around here - Mill Creek Park. I can remember always seeing a picture for it, but I never realized where it was. I hope we can check it out a little more as well.

Yesterday we went to lunch downtown at a place called the Lemon Grove. Our waitress was a previous NCCC member from Iowa, Class 16. Small world. Today we checked out this coffee place downtown - Joe Maxx. I love independent coffee shops. I love coffee in general. xD

Not much else has been going on, just getting used to the idea of being in Ohio again and trying not to be super bummed about it. My mom and grandma will probably come visit, so that will be cool. I was hoping to maybe go home for a weekend, but our off days are Sunday and Monday so I don't know if it's going to be possible.

Looking forward to getting stuff done and heading back to Iowa next month. I'm still having trouble taking things day by day. I'm ready for the next part of the adventure. I think maybe if we were anywhere else I might feel differently, but I guess we'll see if anything's different when that's the case.

Until something exciting happens...
How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
~Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Round 1

I totally called where we'd be going! Because obviously it would be the one place I didn't want to go: Ohio. Yep, I will be in Youngstown, OH from March 12-April 27.

Our mini project was pretty cool. We worked with Matthew 25 Ministry Hub in Cedar Rapids, IA. We did canvassing the first day and half of the second day. After that we began mapping out gardens for a community farm. Part of our team actually went back on Saturday to do an ISP (Independent Service Project) and finish mapping out a few more of the gardens. It was cold and snowy most of the day, but I feel like we accomplished quite a bit.

Our mini project was a great way to see how everyone on the team worked together. There were a few problems of course, but I thought that we did pretty good working together, considering.

We also went through a little bit of an ordeal and lost two of our members.

 We went to Cedar Rapids again last night for a team dinner at Red Robin. It was good, I'd never been there before. Our team is goofy. This excites me. :)

This week is a lot less training, but at the same time it feels more stressful. Probably because we're doing all of our project prep and my partner and I have a lot of paperwork to do for Media and SLI. Hopefully this year will make me less of a procrastinator.

Induction is Thursday. It's crazy that it's been one month since I got here. For the shortest month, it sure dragged on. It feels like I've been here so much longer.

Our Round 1 project is with Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation. We're going to be doing urban gardening, boarding of vacant homes (painting boards cut to size to resemble doors and windows), and clearing vacant lots. We leave Sunday morning at 8. I was kind of hoping we'd get sent on disaster relief for the tornadoes, but oh well. There's always the opportunity for that.

I probably won't post again until after I'm in Ohio, where we'll have wireless at the house we're staying at! I'm so stoked! xD

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are. - Bernice Johnson Reagon