Below are some of the journal posts written by the Alabama Spring 2013 service trip members. Enjoy!
Friday, March 8th, 2013 – Jasmine Britton ‘12
So, yesterday we left for the Alabama trip. I can’t believe how fast everything happened. It seems like just the other day we were interviewing everyone and now we are on the road! I’m super excited for what is to come and can’t wait for the memories to begin. I hope that while on this service trip I will get to know everyone on a closer level and build new friendships. I also hope to gain stronger leadership skills that will allow me to communicate clearly and effectively. Going on this trip means a lot to me and I hope that I can be of service to everyone and anyone who needs it. I look forward to writing more, but until then I will leave you with these questions: who do you serve? How do you serve? Why do you serve? Each service trip I ask myself these questions, & each time I learn something new about myself.
Hours on end,
To reach an anticipated nowhere
Where city stress can’t touch
Warmth of sun
Politeness of stars
Did I tell you about the time Dixie stole my heart?
It was the weekend of March 8th
Post a week of putting ink to paper
Trying to make mentions of 89 & above
It was a long weekend…
Until my eyes became fixed
Oh beautiful sunset
Blue, Pink, and Orange
Like University of Tennessee
Pit stops at gas stations
Like in the movies
Or when dirt road net cow
Or trespassing college students
Met baking dogs
I mean loving puppies
Alabama knew the detour to my heart
Was through my stomach
And so she cater to me
Rubbed my back like morning hike
And foot rubbed laughter
She reminded me of playground
She gave gifts like people
Except I lost the receipt for some!
She reminded me that there is so much more in this world
To be seen, to know
And while I can’t reach it at once
She’s willing to host me
For the time being
I only hope that our love isn’t temporary
Cause ‘Bama keeps running circles through my mind, literally!
How many U-turns does a college student need to make to realize that
It’s never been about the destination,
But the journey
And surely my dearest,
You are worth the trip.
Friday, March 15th, 2013 – Kerry Richmond ‘16
Right now I’m sitting in a hotel in Knoxville, TN after our last day of service and hours of driving. It’s overwhelming to think that tomorrow I will be back at Dickinson. Back to reality.
When I decided to come on this service trip, I wasn’t prepared for the impact it would have on my life. I thought I would do some service, help some people, come home and go on with my life. I didn’t expect to become real friends with anyone on the trip. I didn’t expect anything but a way to pass my spring break that didn’t involve me sleeping until 3 and watching Netflix.
I feel like the connections I have made on this trip are the purest I have found at Dickinson. Last night during reflection I was talking to Emily and Colleen about the loneliness I have felt at Dickinson, and the sheer force of their support and interest was amazing. It was genuinely the first time I have really felt accepted at college, and it made me really appreciate this trip and the people it has shaped. I overheard Dilbert, the head of the Parish, talking the other day about the work he does and he said, “as long as we are alive, we can work to change our situation. What happens in the past doesn’t really matter. We can do something about it.” That really stuck with me. Coming to a school where I knew no one has been a lot harder than I expected, and I feel like I have spent too much of my time mourning my past and feeling sorry for myself, while not doing anything to change it.
This is all really incoherent and random, and I can’t lift my arms over my head because they are so sore from the work yesterday, but I guess I am trying to say that I haven’t been this content, motivated, and inspired in a very long time. I am so grateful for the opportunity to go on this trip, as well as for the wonderful people around me who opened up, listened, and made me feel like I was important. Service is now an integral part of my life and myself. I can’t picture existence without it.
As an administrator on these trips nothing makes me happier than seeing students tearing down the invisible walls that are imposed between people.-Pavan
It’s a much different group of people than I surround myself with at Dickinson. -Riley