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Appalachia Service Project

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A Trip to ASP

It was back in the summer of 2004 when all was calm. The trees filled w/ dry green leaves, the grass barely green as patches of yellowness overcame its dried burned look, dandelions arose in monstrous amounts as the white cotton-like blooms of a dandelion flutter in the midst of an arid breeze, and visions of heat waves could clearly be noticed along a paved street on a clear afternoon. Yep, this truly was mid summer. But I do prefer summer over winter any day of the year. Around the hottest time of the year, a.k.a. middle of July, my church travels on a mission trip over to the Appalachia Mountains to help people in poverty rebuild their homes. I, among 14 other youths and leaders enjoy this yearly mission trip. Only to leave one week after my birthday the ASP (Appalachia Service Project) crew fled the town of Glen Ellyn and headed east towards the mountainous Appalachia Mountains. The mission had not only been to help people in distress but to also give an insight on personal faith, life, love, friendship, and a better understanding on why we are really here and why we have chosen to come here, as certain personality traits that we possess are revealed throughout the trip. I do remember last year's trip very clearly, and we've had just a few major dilemmas, but this year just clearly out does last year in every way, shape and form.

The drive to cross the Kentucky border had taken hours and hours of strenuous patience to finally arrive in another state. The view was by far country like as hints of cow manure could be smelled far from a distance. We drive through small towns, half the size of our hometown of Glen Ellyn had been the biggest town we've seen if not smaller. The scenery had overwhelmed us, as lumps of Earth from a great distance turned to perfectly molded hills, but as we got closer and closer to our destination the hills no longer were hills anymore, instead the hills had transformed to massive mountains of various sizes. These mountains surrounded our every view as if we had sunken into a great big deep hole of green pastures. Our path of direction was seen, as the trails of our road that had followed for numerous hours ended up winding up the mountainous mountains in a corkscrew dizzy-like matter. But of course, with our luck something had instantaneously gone wrong. We crashed our second of the three vehicles onto another car at an intersection all because of some idiot randomly stopping in the middle of the road and then taking off as if nothing had happened. Everyone was fine and we all handled the situation as calm as possible. Finally, we took the mind boggling windy road that creped up the mountain into our recreation center for which we would spend one entire week.

We unloaded our luggage and tools. Of course we were all energized from all the naps that had taken place in the vehicles! But that really wasn't the case, instead we were extremely tired. We set our sleeping rooms as we introduced ourselves to the friends we will be resting with for the week. Friendship, fun and feasting had taken place in the recreation the first day. But tomorrow, it was off to our working site we go! We go to our site, the house had been a 2 story house surrounded by abundance of trees and weeds and whatnot. The house rested on top of a large mound for which the view was just gorgeous! We've always arrive early enough to see the morning dew of the leaves. The work that was needed to be tempered with was on the roof. Our group goal for the week was to strip the entire roof from its dull tin and rusty nails, and replace it with new nails and tin that won't leak and shingles! The shingles was just extra just to prevent it from ever leaking again. The job had been a fun yet sweaty job on top of the roof. But one day an instance occurred that influenced a great change in my personality trait. Everyone stopped working immediately as we all came down the ladders and just stared at the fawns from a closer distance as two baby fawns (deer) had been playing on the large patch of long grass as they each pranced around and nuzzled each other. This moment made me feel all warm inside. I don't know what had come over me but I decided to act like a deer myself, I quietly grabbed a white rag, folded it in two and placed it behind the back of my pants dangling loosely as if it was the tail of a white-tailed deer. I got on all fours, and walked every so slowly towards them shaking my white tailed fanny in the air. I got so close to them! Nearly ten feet away! But once I crossed the ten feet boundary, they slowly backed away with slight fear, I didn't know what to do, but somehow my deer-like instincts told me to chew on some long straw grass. The two fawns just looked at me with a confused look, a look such that turning their heads side to side as if a question of "what had just happened?" and seeing them eye to eye in such a manner only had meant they were heavily confused indeed.



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