It has been waaaay too long since I’ve touched this thing.
But I’ve been busy with training, set up, and then the first week of volunteers for Appalachia Service Project, a nonprofit that I’m working for in western North Carolina this summer.
It’s been crazy.
Training was about ten days in Jonesville, Virginia. I re-learned everything there is to know about home repair and construction, how to be a leader and practiced driving giant work vans.
I met my staff: Kate, my boss for the summer, and Terry and Victoria, our two first-year staffers. We’ve lived together in Rutherford County, North Carolina, for about two weeks now, but it already feels like a lot longer.
Our first group of volunteers have already come and left. Earlier today, we welcomed our second group — some from the coast of North Carolina and a group from outside Chicago. The group from Chicago was a church that I had as a staffer in Tazewell, Virginia, last summer, so it’s really great to get to work with them again.
We haven’t totally completed any home repair projects yet, but the work we’ve made so far has been impressive, given that we’ve only had five work days so far.
Monday marks our sixth day of construction for Summer 2015, and my 41st day of construction as a staffer.
In those past days, some pretty incredible things have happened — but you don’t know about a lot of the incredible things until you get to look back at them at the end of the summer.
And, as difficult as being away from home has been this year, I know this is going to be an incredible summer. I mean, just look at one of the dogs I get to hang out with:
This one’s just a puppy. There are a few other dogs, but I think I’m going to be selective in how often I upload them.
I moooostly want to spread out the cute. That way nobody (including myself) gets overwhelmed by it all at once.
Aside from the many dogs I’ll get to hang out with, there are hundreds of new volunteers left to meet. There are families to help that we haven’t been introduced to yet.
The hours are going to be long (I’m making a run to the hardware store at 6:45 a.m. — about 6 hours after I finish writing this post), some days will make me want to rip my hair out, projects will go wrong and I’ll want to be home sometimes.
But no matter what it feels like at the time, I know that I’ll look back loving it the entire time. There’s a reason that ASP staffers call it the hardest job that you’ll ever love.
I’m going to try and come back to this regularly and keep track of my summer a bit better than I did last year. We’ll see how that goes…