Habitat Collegiate Challenge – HU Spring Break

It has been a few fabulous days traveling with a small but very fun group of 9 Hamline Students and 1 Faculty Advisor. We unfortunately do not have any internet access here at the Volunteer Center so I’ve had to resort to utilizing McDonald’s for more than just food (or shamrock shakes!) in order to get this post up and update all of you who are curious about what this great group is up to. It has been very fun, tiring, and painful in a very red oriented way but we are plugging along soaking up a bunch of rays, sunscreen, and aloe… lots and lots of aloe. This is the end of the third day of the trip and after numerous trips to Wal-Mart we have had quite the adventure.

I’ll take us all back to the beginning in the very early morning of the 18th.

Everyone was up and ready for action, well maybe not action, but at least to hop on a plane for three hours and get this trip started. With only the minor shnag of a certain person leaving their Drivers License behind we flowed quickly through security and with the help of some Monster Javas and lack of sleep we managed to laugh our way onto the plane. Of course myself, Mickey, and Joe (the three largest people on the trip) sat in the same row getting real comfortable with each other. I almost have to believe that airlines require at least one baby onboard so that they can scream at the top of their voice. You feel really bad for the small child but at the same time could truly use a breather from the loudness… and seriously how can something so small be that loud!?! We landed, ran from the child, to grab our bags and get this party started.

Through this whole process we’ve been mildly frustrated with Habitat because of the lack of communication and when we arrived at the volunteer center there was mild panic because we couldn’t get in and nobody came to the door when we knocked. After waiting for at most 15 minutes the crew from Illinois State University showed up and with their key let us in the building. There we discovered a sleeping man by the name of Ray who runs the joint. We walked into a very accommodating volunteer center filled with bunk beds in four bedrooms and a main room with dining room tables, couches, tvs, and a massive grill. That night after getting settled and grilling some excellent burgers (made by the bro team of Mickey and myself) we went in search of a beach and some Shamrock Shakes.

The next morning was full of laziness because it was our free day! We went up to Sarasota to the USA’s #1 beach Siesta Key with gloriously soft, white sand, and the sun beating down on us the relaxation began. It was easy to tell that the whole group hailed from the great white north because of our nearly translucent skin. With copious amounts of sunblock on we ran into the sea and joyously played in the salty water. Utilizing the buddy system we made a home base area and a few of us hiked to a street of shops and tiki bars to pick up a few necessary items for beach enjoyment.   The afternoon consisted of beach volleyball where laying out meant landing in a pillowy mound of sand making our game that much more fun and that much more intense. Redness began to creep up in a few of our shoulders and noses so another copious layer of sunscreen was applied. We were joined by a group of people who were interested in playing with us and with the addition of them the game was even more fun loud and enjoyable. With everyone diving, shouting, and laughing the score barely even mattered (but I did lose every game and I’ll never admit to being bitter about it).

After our new Floridian friends left we decided that it was time for us to make the trek, and it was a long one, back to our van. We noticed that nearly everyone was radiating heat from their shoulders and that the majority of us were royally burned. As we filed out of the van there were many moans and groan of recently acquired pain. After stinging showers and an attempt to rid ourselves of sand we took a quick trip over to Joe Crackers for some burgers and fish tacos which I will say were all absolutely delicious. The night was rough for those of us with red scorched bodies but we were able to keep our spirits high.

We were met by our site supervisor Rob who was easily the most relaxed Habitat manager of all time set us up to do sheet rocking inside… thank goodness. We split up into teams and dominated two of the rooms to completion. While we are no pros everyone felt a feeling of accomplishment. Another quick trip to the beach after work gave us some time to wind down, cool off, and kick back.

Needless to say our time here has been fun and while very burned the aloe and food have allowed us to keep trucking and keep laughing. I hope to update you all again tomorrow but don’t wait up for it! While this isn’t the whole story it gives you a quick picture into the good times we’ve had and lets you know that we expect more of them to come.

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  1. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days..

    • Thanks, this is one of the regular themes. I always appreciate comments feel free to ask any questions about anything I’ve posted about.


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