Our last days

We woke up early on Friday morning so we can pack up and say our goodbyes to the church! We will not forget the kindness of San Martin de Porres church for opening their doors to us.

We started our drive north and stopped in San Antonio to explore for the day. We walked around the river walk and picked up last minute souvenirs at the different booths. We also went over to the Alamo to learn about the history of the battle and it’s interesting how certain things are glorified in our history.

As we explored the places around the river walk, we found things we were familiar with and rare things. We came together for one last group dinner at Casa Rio and enjoyed each other’s company and the nice warm weather because we knew we would have to wait a few more months in Minnesota.

We drove back to the cities and we arrived in Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon. We said Hasta luego to each other because we knew that this wasn’t an Adios moment and that we will only see more of each other at Augsburg now. We’ll all make a conscious effort to say hi to each other in the hall ways and to share about our unforgettable experiences.

I’m honestly so grateful to everyone I met on this trip and for everyone who made it possible for us!! We made memories that’ll stay with us for a life time!

-Domo

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Day 4

Today was our first and last day at the new site and man did we work hard to make it look like a house! We started from the bottom and now we’re here. We did enough foundation for new groups to build on and to learn from. It was nostalgic in a way cause we knew we wouldn’t be back. It was fun as we worked on our last projects and took group pics.

Afterwards we were invited to a fiesta in a huge house by lake Casa Blanca and we enjoyed our last memories together in Laredo, Eating, dancing and all around just having the best of time.

Tomorrow we’re off to explore San Antonio and from there we’ll make our way back home to Minneapolis! We’re really grateful for all the people who made our time in Laredo warm and welcoming and we can’t wait to share what we gained with everyone.

-Domo

I enjoyed my alternative spring break in Laredo Texas, as I learned many terms and ways to do construction work. It taught me the most basic skills for construction work. The most exciting part was working as a team with our friends from other colleges. Today we started building the foundation for the house. Although, it might seem that we have given up our spring break, I think many of us gave back to the community that needed us. And knowing I helped someone or learned new skills fills me with joy!

-Hodo

Day 3

Today we did the finishing touches on the house in South Laredo! We got to use the nail gun to put trimming around the house. It was fun to interact and use critical thinking skills with individuals from NDSU and Skidmore College to solve problems that we faced. Members from our group also did some landscaping around the home by leveling high grounds and putting dirt around the house. We are on to the next home tomorrow. We will be building the home from scratch, putting up walls, and framework!

-Shannon

We are all extremely excited to start on the new project tomorrow and have been on our toes about it for awhile. After our hard day at work, we got to go explore the Laredo Water Museum. We learned many things including the fact that most of the water we use in our homes come from simply flushing the toilet. Odd right? Not normally something you would think about. It was shocking to us as well. We also learned that the Great Lakes hold 20% of the fresh water in the world. REPRESENT!!! It was an incredible museum. Afterwords, we hit the showers and had a BBQ at Lake Casa Blanca. It was a much needed time for us to just fool around and be the young 20 something year olds that we all are; even we deserve a break from time to time. After the fun, we finished up with going to an ice cream shop near where we are staying. Needless to say, we are all still kids at heart. We are finishing off the night with a “classic” game of basketball. Something to bring us back to our roots and bound our little “family” that much more.

-Nadia

Day 2

We’re really enjoying our time in Laredo as we get more comfortable with building the house and exploring all over!

Today we worked on finishing up the siding of the house as a group and just finishing up last minute instillations on different parts. Other groups were working on leveling the soil. There’s so much work that goes into building and we love it the more we learn about it. Some of us even joke about renovating our own places when we get back! With every activity there’s challenges that come with it and for some of us it was harder but through teamwork we were able to figure it out.

Exploring the city and finding things that are different from Minneapolis is always fun and super exciting (blue fire hydrant!!) but going to a place we all feel comfortable and used to is fun as well. So we took a target run later in the day and people were able to grab things they needed.

Spending time as a group and having the opportunity to connect with people from different view points has been a highlight for me and I was able to get out my comfort zone to try new things.

-Domo

Day 1

We’re in Laredo, Texas and it’s still unbelievable that we were driving for so long and we’re actually here!

From arriving at the site this morning to dinner as a group, we know what we are capable of. We were able to meet the homeowner, Laura. As well as meeting the rest of the groups from other institutions in the collegiate challenge.

I think it was really nice for people that have never worked in construction because it gave you a sense of power by being able to use the different tools and having the skills.

We worked on trimming and landscaping today .We cut so much wood that we probably have enough to use for our work for tomorrow. Sydney reflected that her favorite part was being able to trim and frame the windows and after getting directions she was able to lead on her own and finish several windows.

We set a goal to finish the house by tomorrow and we can’t wait to wake up and start another day of gaining new knowledge and skills.

-Domo

Two More Days!!

As soon as we had our last meeting before the trip I knew this was actually happening and it couldn’t be more exhilarating for us. There’s only 2 more days left before we set out our drive to Laredo, Texas and it’s hard deciding between packing now or doing the usual (procrastinating). But because this is going to be a life changing service trip I should probably prepare my mind before anything else!

-Domo