Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Work Camp - Middle School Style

For detail on AbFab's trip to Sikeston Check out the official blog.

Our assignment this week was to help out the Missouri Mission . This is a place where men with various problems and addiction can start their life over.

The first task was to knock out the existing counter and drawers that were between the two closets in order to make more closet space. We divided all of the kids and adults into teams and each team was assigned a room.

The man who lived in the room we were assigned to eyed us a bit cautiously. Who could blame him? Nothing like having a group of kids ages 12 to 14 invade your room and start moving your stuff.

Finally we moved everything onto the beds, pushed the beds into the center of the room and began to tape off for painting. Oh and the demolition? Well quickly, I saw the need for some safety rules when two boys started swinging the hammers as hard as they could. I decided we would take turns, three hits and then the the next person could swing three times. I told the kids it was like a pinata. They bought it. The counter and drawers were removed with no injuries.

Finally the paint arrived and the kids attacked (I mean painted carefully).

We painted the entire ceiling and then began painting the walls. My team began with lots of enthusiasm.

This enthusiasm lasted until after lunch, when all the energy was gone. It was a long afternoon.

Luckily the success or failure of any mission trip is never decided on my the first day. By Wednesday, my team was completely different. We started our second room and finished in less than one day what had take us two day to accomplish in the first room. The kids took the lead and I have never been so amazed by a group of kids aged 12 to 14. I was honored to have witnessed the transformation.

Oh and the first resident that we unexpectedly moved in on on Monday, well he made a point of giving the team several packets of Crystal Light and a box of cookies. From a man who entire possessions could be stacked on two beds, the gift was heartfelt and meant so much to all of us.

Here was another Thank you note from another resident. He and his assigned team communicated by leaving notes on his white board.

The week was a challenge for all the kids but especially for the Middle Geek. He finally found a knack for painting and got into the work on the final day.

He also found some great friends, that was his overwhelming response - "Wow, I made some great friends this week."

I was overwhelmed with the attention from the cooks. These two ladies cooked everything from scratch - cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, coffee cake. I brought all of my own food for the Middle Geek (like I usually do) but they went out of their way to make sure he could eat dinner like everyone else. They even found some So Delicious brand Ice Cream so he could have dessert every night too.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, we were at the last chapel service on Thursday night where we had communion. I am not sure where my mind was - maybe it was the heat or the exhaustion - but I stood up to get in line for communion and realized that I had not gotten any gluten free bread for the Middle Geek. I watched him hang back and sit back down (He hates standing out in any way) when all of a sudden on of the women who had cooked for us all week, is stand right by him with a slice of his bread. She had run back to the kitchen for it.

There was plenty of time to do lots of fun stuff. We had a movie night, and one night we had a talent show. The Middle Geek joined with a group and they played - Lean on Me. Oh yea he rocked the drums.

We also went to a local park and spent one evening at a swimming pool. There were two diving boards so the Middle Geek worked on his front and back flips.

And is anyone curious about my Indian Visa? Well it was approved last Wednesday. This is a picture of me "discussing" the approval.

Yes she told me several times to "calm down".

1 comment:

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Good job "discussing." What a week! You're an amazing mom and humanitarian!