Monday, October 29, 2012

A Final Look At Our Marvelous Week In Beards Fork


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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Our Final Day - A Treasured Week Ends

Friday, October 12, 2012
A Farewell Concert - Our Final Day

We arose in the morning to a crisp, sunny day, ate our breakfast, had our usual morning meeting, and then were off to our work site by 8:45AM.  We started working on semi-individual projects, because we were preparing the Historic Oak Hill School for its “coming out “party to the community on Saturday evening.  After lunch, we were informed that the Solid Rock Church would be having services this evening.  Projects worked on were:  stairwell painting, “mudslinging,” vacuuming carpet on second floor and stairwells.  We quickly discovered that cleaning the stairwells was meaningless, unless done at the end of the day, because the sanding dust walked right on in on the shoes.  We also cleaned all the windows and then de-taped the ones already painted.
            For our lunch break, we had some homemade potato soup, whipped up by the staff; Artie supplied BBQ and fried chicken, baked beans and mac salad and sodas.  A lot of the young men (the work crew of SALS) joined us at the tables and talked with us.  Of the 3 who sat with us, none had a stable father in their lives.  One of them entertained us with his guitar, self-taught, and his is able to play 7 instruments.
            Artie picked us up at 3:45, after we said our final goodbyes to the staff and young men of SALS.  We dropped off two of them on our way back to our “home”, up a definite one lane stone road named Easy Street!!   Once home, we relaxed for a while.  We will be going out to eat with Artie, at Pies and Pints, a pizza place.  When we return, we will have our surprise/goodbye party.   

                                                                                    Written by Mariana

Team 80 - Our Final Celebration Cake -  
Thanks to Stephanie & John

Artie - What Hat Are You Wearing Today?
Good Bye Beautiful West Virginia
We Had A Great Time!

  Two Final Thoughts for the day....  

  "It is never too late to be what you might have been.” - George Eliot 


 “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”             Robert Brault

                                                                                        Shared  by John 

             Many Thanks to Everyone 

         We Encountered & Worked With 

              Sharing The  Good Times


Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Historic Oak Hill School - One Of Our Work Sites
Every Day Is Special

Anna woke everyone up as we shared our breakfast and coffee by sharing a volunteer experience she had through Assistance Link.   The story was about a little boy who was receiving a bag of clothing.  He did not understand why he was being given so much.   He worked through this puzzling question and came up with the answer….because I am special.

Pat continued her work with Frank studying for his GED.   Several times she has expressed to the group his intelligence and potential.    I have no doubt she expressed this to him during their time together.   What a wonderful gift of encouragement for him.   I have no doubt he feels special after this week.

We have all worked hard this week at the Historic Oak Hill School, which is being renovated to be used as a community resource…painting, sanding, hanging drywall and many other misc. tasks.   But mostly as the work has progressed we have discovered how each of the young men in the Youth Build program is special.    On our 4th day, Jon Jon, in the absence of Jimmy, the project manager, took the initiative to show management skills and leadership by giving the volunteers instruction on the drywall.   John and others in the group gave him positive feedback for his efforts—expressing his good management potential.   We were all rewarded by smiles and the look of happiness on his face as he went back to work.

Jody joined the work site after a three month break.    He was unable to find a job and rejoined the program.  We discovered and enjoyed talking with him about his musical talents.   He plays seven instruments.    Anna was surprised while washing her paint brush to see a foot sticking out of the wall.   She found Boo Boo working in a small hole on the plumbing.   She captured a short video of him and his work.   Talking to him about this was the most animated we have seen him all week.   He was excited to be the star of his own mini feature of “who is the hole”.
We would like to stay and discover more ways the youth are special but will have to leave this to the volunteers that follow.   To the future volunteers we also add that we can recommend the local places for lunch break - Coffee Shop and CafĂ© One Ten.   At the coffee shop, the tomato and spinach soup was very good, but beware, they do not share their recipes.

We ended our evening by inviting the neighboring AmeriCorps youth for dinner.   They shared their stories and future plans.   A group of youth that are special and making a difference in our country now and in the future.
                                                        Written by Stephanie                  

After Dinner Px With AmeriCorps

Team 80 - Traveling With Artie  

                                                                                                                                                              Thought for the day....       

  When did we see you hungry,  and feed you; when did we see you thirsty, and give you drink; when were you naked, and  we gave you  clothing; when were you sick, and we visited you; when  were you a stranger and we welcomed you?  And Jesus answered, When you have done this to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it to me.”           Matthew 25:  34-36                
                                                                                               Shared by Mariana  






A Mid Week Reflection

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Pat With Students At Adult Learning Center

In the work week, Wednesday is "hump day; in Beard's Fork it was "click day."  While I can't say we were humming to the tunes that Billy Payne sang last night, we were moving with a familiar rhythm to the jobs waiting for us at the historic Oak Hill School. Anna, Jay and Mariana finished painting the staircase under the eagle eye of Dale, a local resident, and then they moved on to painting the long brick walls in the hallway.  Stephanie added painting to her West Virginia portfolio while John and Ruth completed the refinishing of the handrails for the staircases before spackling and taping the dry wall- in local parlance, "slinging mud." 

While it was great to see such progress, the best part of the day was getting to know and work with the SALS students and staff more than we did yesterday.  There was much more interaction and I would like to think they were becoming more comfortable having us around, too.  Besides their names and nicknames, we're learning what makes them tick, who's related to who, and what goals some of them have set.  For some the goal is a GED or a trade certificate; for others it's getting a paycheck.   Most hope to make their life and raise their families right here in Fayette County.  We volunteers realize that they might be wondering what makes us tick. Artie told us that they think we're a little bit crazy to pay to do the work we're doing.   I hope that by Friday they'll understand that we like doing this and we're actually having fun.

We miss seeing Pat during the work day and look forward to hearing about her day when we get back to the dorm.  She described her work with a middle-aged student who, she learned today, is incarcerated and bussed to her school for the class.  She found him to be bright with a good chance of passing the exam with some consistent support.  Sadly, the regular school staff did not demonstrate the imagination or flexibility for helping him succeed.

Paint and sparkle showered off, we hopped on the van to join Artie for dinner at Benny's Bar and Grill in Montgomery, a town about 15 miles of hair-raising switchbacks away.  With full stomachs, the ride home seemed a lot easier and much faster. For the first time this week, we saw bright stars in the Appalachian sky. 

One more treat waited for us - Phyllis' homemade apple pie! 

                                                                                                    Written by Ruth
Jay & Ruth With Their Railing Project

Where's Anna?                                               Oh! There She Is!

Thought for the Day....

"A story about a little poor boy, who was receiving a bag of clothing.  He did not understand why he was being given so much.  He worked through this puzzling question and came up with an answer,,,,,'because I am special'"

                                                                                                  Shared by Anna