Day #4 March 19th

After being sore for the past couple days, I wasn’t prepared to do much more heavy lifting. Thankfully our smaller group ended up doing some cleaning around the Flower Festival site and building some walls. It was also refreshing to have the whole tent up as the sun was beating down the whole time.

Since I had some prior experience with some of the tools, I could teach people how to use each one. That was a great feeling being able to teach someone a new skill that will benefit them later in life. It was also a pleasure having a little more one on one time with other people as it was definitely lacking the prior days being in the large group.

It all ended with dinner going to the Oyster House. I ended up trying alligator for the first time there and all I have to say is that it was DELICIOUS!!! Loved every single savory chewy bite of it! Overall today was my favorite day this week with all the good that happened. I am finishing this off as I am half asleep and getting energized for our final full day in Alabama, looking forward to another great day!

-Zane (AKA Vincent)

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After a lovely day at the beach on Dauphin Island! GROUP SELFIE!

After a lovely day at the beach on Dauphin Island! GROUP SELFIE!

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A couple words from Lee…

Hello, it’s Lee! It is Wednesday night, and we completed our second work day for Habitat for Humanity. A unique part of this trip has been working with others and helping our friends rise up – no matter the obstacle or situation. I have noticed some of the greatest group reactions to others accomplishments, and that sense of community was amazing to witness.

Yesterday, Tuesday, we were all on the bus going to the park for a grilled dinner. Everyone was engaged in conversation when out of nowhere Grace screamed “I got the job!” Although not everyone understood what that was about, the bus erupted with screams and clapping. It might be one of my favorite moments just because I look up to Grace so much and know how hard she worked to get a position with Young Adults in Global Mission (ELCA), but also because of the support she received.

This morning at the work site, we were putting large poles in huge holes in the ground. Some of the holes needed to be cut down in order to fit, so Danny took the chainsaw first. Once he got it going and cut off the end of the pole, our whole group clapped and cheered once again. Simple victories matter.

The encouragement given was inspiring and shows how tight of a community we have built within just a few days of being together.

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Day 3: Discussing differences and eating gelato!

Hi ya’ll. This was our third days in Alabama helping with Habitats For Humanity. Things went fantastically well throughout today as the previous two days. We were up early this morning around 7am and had breakfast together before we headed to our construction site. We worked separately in small groups and were assigned to do different duties. I got to work in one of the groups that were assigned to put the poles up into the holes that are 3-foot deep. I thought the work would be so easy because the only thing needed to be done was just to put each pole straight into the hole. But it turned out that was not the ideal. Each pole needed to be so precisely done. The unfortunate thing was that most of the holes were filled with a foot of water (if not two). It was impossible!!!!!!
But I learned today that team work makes the impossible possible. Each of our team members worked hard and we got WONDERFUL result (well, after several failed attempts in the muddy holes). We got all the poles up today and my team alone got 11 poles up!!! WOW… We got a lot done today!

We called off for the day at 4 pm. We came back to the Church and got to shower and get ready for dinner. I have never appreciated a shower as much as I do now after a long working day. We had Home made pasta today made by our assigned group. I’m not kidding, but the pasta was the MOST delicious pasta I have ever had in my life!!!! With the sweet tea that was kindly shared by our team member Danny. OH GOSH… What a taste!

After dinner we used our spared time in the coffee shop (with delicious gelato!) in downtown Alabama. There we had a group discussion about racism. It was an interesting talk with Pastor Justin and other peers. Now we are preparing for our next destination tomorrow and please keep your thoughts and prayers as for us.

– Chuill

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Day 2: Boots in the dirt

Hey all, this is Casey signing on to give everyone an update on the second day of ASB in Alabama. Let me just start by saying so far this trip has been amazing, starting off with an improvement in sleepability. Yes now that there has been a full day of not being on a bus, waking up after a full nights rest was wonderful. I felt refreshed and ready to work.

So moving on was the days majority activity, and that was the Habitat for Humanity work. We got off the bus around 8am and almost immediately work began. To start the day we began by moving large slabs of wood, now when I say large I mean we had eight people just to move one of these bad boys. This was in itself, only the beginning of a day of sweet sweet labor.

Personally, I’m a workaholic, and spending an eight hour day in the balmy 72 degree Fahrenheit weather was wonderful (I hear in Minnesota its been 29), and the majority of the day was all about lifting. Those slabs we were moving at the Office building were brought to a work site where we would again be moving them around. This time though we were told that holes were dug in the ground to lay these slabs in. The catch though is that these slabs had to be perfectly level. Easier said than done. When you put these in the ground, you forget that they will sink. This dilemma caused us to have to take out and put the same slab into the ground eleven times before the task itself was complete. Definitely not fun.

Around 4pm we finished the days work and went to a park to relax and eat dinner. Observation, I now see the other side of bird migration as the lake was absolutely packed with ducks, geese, and of course gulls. Mark was our grill master and lead us to delicious burgers tonight. Amongst  delicious dinner the group really hit it off in conversation, and we quickly discovered Chua’s love of pine cones (“THEY ARE SO BIG!!!”).

In the end, a great second day, and I look forward to another day of labor and companionship. Adios Amigos, and for those in MN stay frosty.

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Day 1: Dauphin Island

The first day here in sunny Alabama was a blast! We started off our day at the heart of the city of Mobile, at the historic site Fort Charlotte. We learned a lot before we even got off the bus (from the lovely local gentlemen who shared history of the fort – and the origin of “sleep tight”). Then we were able to learn on our own by exploring the fort, the city of mobile, and the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception – quite a gorgeous site!

We spent the rest of the day in extreme relaxation. While some played Frisbee, others collected shells, caught some waves, took pictures, and soaked up the sun!  We had delicious dinners of two varieties – Indian and Popeyes fried chicken. We then ended the day with an activity that underlined our connections and individual uniqueness; working together to understand our different beliefs and visualize the web that brings us all together.

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We Made It!

After a lengthy overnight bus ride, including watching “The Goonies” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” attempting to sing Iowa’s theme song, catching some Z’s and waking up to a refreshing stop at DQ in Mississippi… WE’RE HERE!
We’re getting settled in at the very welcoming Moffett Baptist Church here in Mobile, Alabama – enjoying some free time to relax, play some basketball and take showers before our evening activities begin.

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