Friday, April 25, 2008


Yes and odd name and place since I'm soposed to be in the eastern region. My time with AmeriCorps has come to an end. There have been some changes and incidents related to my moms brain tumor and the surgery to remove it so I have decided to return home to be closer. I am sad to say goodbye to my NCCC team but now I believe the best thing for me to do is to be closer to family and live here in Denver. Thank you all for reading and sending me e-mails. I had a great time in Maryland and Mississippi and was fortunate enough to meet some wonderful people and make some new friends. Hope you are all doing well. If anyone is in the Denver area feel free to give me a call 720-323-1319.
Also for those that don't have facebook and want to see some pictures of Lisa in Uganda they are at the top right hand of this page.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


This week we started rehab on houses. These are houses that had flood damage but are still standing and strong enough to be used again. They just have problems with mold in the walls and under the floors. On Monday I was assigned the task of taking down the walls of a bathroom. At first I was using a hammer and other tools. I quickly realized it would be much more fun if I used my hands and feet. It was a great Kung-Fu exercise tearing apart the bathroom with my hands and feet. We also take out tile and ceilings. I realized the value of protective gear (i.e. helmets, eye wear, and masks) when removing a ceiling, especially when I pulled down on one and half of it fell down at once.
The bugs here are probably not as big as Lisa has in Africa but they are fairly large and hungry. I'm joined in the shower by cockroaches sometimes and and meet other large mystery bugs throughout the course of my day. I'm also bitten all day by gnats. They are just as bad if not worse than mosquitoes. They are very smart too. They know when I'm tapped out and wait for all my bites to heal before digging in on me again.
We got to meet a family of pit bulls the other day. At first we were worried since they're pit bulls but the introduction was made easier since we met the puppy first. The two adult dogs were chained up just to be safe with us but they were just as nice and playful as the puppy. There are alot of pit bulls down here too. People seem to really like this kind of dog. Many houses we work on either have a pit bull or their neighbor has a pit bull in their yards.
As of Thursday Lisa should be an official Peace Corps Volunteer (which means shes past her probation period as to how well she'll do in the country). This is very exciting to hear because now if she were to get sick (which hopefully she wont have to worry about) she will be treated in the country and not just sent home.
Next weekend we may be headed to New Orleans for V-Day to volunteer at the event. V-Day is a festival for the Vagina Monolouges and for awareness and prevention of violence towards women. It sounds like lots of fun. Hopefully by next weekend too we should know where our next project is! This will make things much easier for buying a plane ticket home for memorial day.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Volunteers everywhere

I am surrounded by volunteers now in the stadium. Each week a new group comes to work for Habitat for Humanity. The groups can be college age, High School, church groups, or other Habitat organizations from around the country. Arrgh...they always take to TV and the pool table..... then again I shouldn't complain, I didn't join Americorps to play pool and watch TV.
This week has been good. We have been outside all week doing construction on a house. On Tuesday we put up all the exterior and interior walls. The rest of the week we did all the siding for a small shed in the back of the house (which is much more complicated than it seems). Today we started our spring break. Since I'm saving money I decided to work for one more day and got to help re-build an outside stair case. Stairs are actually very important because the cities on the coast mandate that new houses must be a certain height above sea level. Our particular house is almost five feet above the ground on concrete blocks.
The South has a very interesting culture so far. Despite the confederate flags and the warnings of dangerous neighborhoods, most people I've met while walking or running around town have been very nice and happy to say hello and talk on the street.
Well off to the fun of being thrifty on spring break (i.e. instead of spending money traveling, walking down two blocks and laying on the beach).

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Ahhh finally here in Biloxi Mississippi. East Biloxi to be exact. To be even more exact we are less than a mile from the beaches (both to the north and to the south of us). Unfortionatly there is no swimming in the water due to the oil, chemicals, and debris that got dumped into the ocean durring the hurricane. The town has been a little cooler (temperature) than we originally thought (there was snow in northern Alabama on the ride down) but it is starting to reach a comfortable 70 degrees (Horray!).
Working for Habitat for Humatity is a little different than we thought. We originally planned to be building houses all day but that has yet to happen. Instead our primary job is to load a warehouse in preperation for Jimmy and Roslyn Carter to bring their group down to build. Mostly our job is setting up for a large publicity stunt to benefit Habitat. It is only the third day of work though so I'm not too worried, I'm sure we will be doing plenty of exciting things over the next six weeks. Even yesterday we helped dig and sod around a drainage ditch with a very funny and energitic southerner.
Most people around the community are very nice. Whenever we go out to the beach or I go for a run I end up talking to somone or at least saying hello to several people on the street.
The area is pretty much rebuilt but there are still signs of the damage from Katrina and Rita. For example the ruins of the old Route 90 bridge is still sticking out of the watter. Its amazing how powerful the hurricane is. Well off to the hospital to go and replace our team leader who is watching over a sick team member.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bombs away

The NCCC campus used to be located at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds (Aberdeen is a town 5-7 miles south of Perry Point). For several weeks I was wishing we were still there since Aberdeen has the closest weekend running train. At least until yesterday when I was reminded that the Proving Grounds are for proving bombs for the US military. The bombs were so powerful yesterday that our houses (seven miles away from the impact site) shook. One was so powerful that I could feel the energy of the shock wave. It was as if we had several mini earthquakes.
Friday morning we finally leave for our trip. We'll spend the night in Knoxville and arrive in Biloxi on Saturday evening. Before that we must pack, inspect our extra utility van, and give a presentation to the NCCC leadership about our project (what we're doing, goals, info about the town, and my plan for world think I'm kidding but I'm not, well maybe I am... world conquest would be difficult anyways).

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Induction is coming tomarrow....and its about time. I will be officially off of my probation period and be a full corps member. If I have to sing anymore songs or do any energizers (summer camp songs or activities involving screaming) I might lose my mind! Then again I can't complain too much since all of my living expenses are covered. Besides that there isn't too much goin on here. I did fall in a river the other day though, that was kind of fun. At least until the hypothermia set in. We were in Baltimore checking the water quality of the storm drains and wading through a river. I decided it would be fun to play in the mud (which had a quicksand effect) and I fell over into the cold water...oops. It was funny and no equiptment was damaged.
I leave for Biloxi Mississippi on the 7th of March. I am quite excited for this because we will be two blocks from the beach and the weather will be in the 70s and 80s!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I swear this blog will be about me somday. Training is really boring and not too much happens, for example I sat around all presidents day weekend and finished the book the Borne Identity while being sick (the book wasn't bad....much different than the movie, more in depth).
Anyways I was awoken at five forty five this morning by a call from Uganda! It was Lisa! She has a cell phone and has just moved in with her homestay family. They seem like really good people so far which is always good to her. Most importantly though she is enjoying herself.
I do have some news, today I will be working at food bank in Havre De Grace (the town across the river to me) it sounds fun and like it might be more meaningful than our last service project. (it was trail maintenence but it seemed futile and almost destructive since we were cutting down perfectly healthy live trees).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lisa update

For any who are wondering about how Lisa is doing....... She sent an e-mail a few days ago to some people (she had limited computer time). Her flight was delayed for three hours out of JFK airport in New York so she missed her connecting flight to Uganda in Brussles. Since flights to Uganda only fly out every three days or so from Brussles she was stuck for several days. Not all bad though she spent several days eating choclate and drinknig beer in Belgium. She should have arrived in Uganda friday afternoon. It may take a while though for her to find her bearings and find a phone or internet.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Goodbye Lisa!

The day has finally arrived, Lisa is going to Africa!! She departs from Brussles after her three day delay and will land in Entebee airport some time this evening. It will be sad to see her go but she has wanted to do volunteer work abroad for as long as I have known her and now she is finally going! I am so happy for her. She has a blog set up ( to document her experiences and keep people updated easily. It might take a while for her to update it since she will have to become oriented in Uganda and find her way around while training and becoming acustomed to a different lifestyle. Good luck Lisa! I love you and am so happy for you.
Things here are good. I just returned from Philadelphia to visit Lisa. I saw independence hall, Philadelphia old town, and Chinese New Years celebrations in Chinatown. Most importantly though I got to see Lisa one more time before her departure. It was sad to say goodbye but well worth the trip! I finally found out what my new assignment is. We are going to Biloxi Mississippi to build houses for hablitat for humanity. We've heard rumor that Jimmy Carter might even show up one of the days we're building (how exciting would that be!!!).

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Week 2

What a week (even though it is only Wednesday). We have finally received our team placements. I am on Raven (as in the bird) Six. The team is ten people plus the team leader. Everyone is very nice and pretty easy to get along with. This week has been filled with mostly training, including a 5 am physical training secession this morning (blah). Tomorrow, luckily we get to do a service project in a state park near Baltimore removing non-native species of plants. It will be a nice change from just sitting around in lecture halls and classes all day.
The beginning of March is when our team will start our first assignment. I'm hoping we get to go somewhere in the gulf or where the weather is warm and not cold. I shouldn't complain about the cold though. The Chesapeake Bay area is not nearly as cold as Denver. There are lots of cloudy days and fog, but that is to be expected being so close to a large body of water.
Most of our training takes place at the University of Delaware. It is a very pretty school located in the town of Newark, which is a very neat little town with lots of interesting stores. The UD's mascot is the Blue Hen. What is strange though is that the Hen (a female chicken) is made to look very masculine on all the school paraphernalia.

I'm very excited because today I made preparations to go the Philadelphia to visit Lisa as she starts her Peace Corps staging. I am quite happy to be able to see her before she begins her adventure in Uganda. It is going to be sad to see her leave but I'm very excited and happy for her. I'm also excited about the prospect of being able to visit her after I'm done with Americorps.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The pictures have worked! There are also some interesting items found in the house left by previous residents.


It is windy, but then again we are on the coast of a bay. Perry Point is a very small town, even smaller to me because I haven't been out more than half a mile. It is very pretty though lots of coast line and some forested areas. The campus has several non-human shy deer that roam around the forested areas.
Americorps training will last about a month (ugh). After that we will head out with our teams to our first assignments. Teams get assigned monday after people have finished trying out for firefighter. To be a firefighter you have to hike 3 miles in 45 minuets with a 45 pound pack. Hopefully being in a lower altitude this will not be too difficult a task.

Here are some pictures of the surrounding area (if I can get them to load that is)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's Gone!

An odd way to start my new Americorps blog (especially since I haven't left yet), but as I was walking my parent's dogs this evening I saw that my favorite tree in my parents neighborhood has been cut down! This tree was awesome, it was a large old tree that had a face in it that could either be frowning or giving a small grin. It also had an energy about it. Arrrg! I can't believe they cut it down, it wasn't even dead or dying.