I am super de duper excited about my upcoming mission trip! I am sure you can tell just by reading previous posts. I was a bit nervous and overwhelmed the past few days, but today SUCCESS! I woke up with a positive attitude and a Get R Done attitude. I attacked my to do list I came up with last night! I am happy to say that I accomplished almost everything on it! I feel like everything is going to be fine. I should be able to finish up everything since I will stop by the store coming home from tomorrow’s data all day professional training workshop day. Then drop the new coffee carafe I shattered (stupid accident) off and I will have accomplished everything on my list! Then, I will be extremely happy! I just need to finish up the week (training day on Thursday and stop at two friends houses to get supplies from one and to drop off a birthday gift at the other), Wednesday is a day to just relax and hopefully get in one last day at the secret waterfall spot to reflect and think about this awesome experience ,as well as drop off all letters and supply lists for this years class at school so they can get mailed out. Friday, I have to get a haircut and another event. Saturday – before the sun rises I will be on my way meeting my ride! Then Saturday night – I will be sleeping in my sleeping bag at the bunkhouse! YEAH!
Today’s goal was to get packing. I never pack this early folks. You know that from going to the conference in Georgia. I am a last minute packer. However, this week is super busy trying to finish up things. Plus I am trying to finish up a few VBS things at church since I have that when I get back. Actually, I love the VBS. I have been creating treehouses, critters, flowers, etc. That is what I love! Plus, the church is cool and today it was hot, humid, and muggy! They say the same tomorrow so I might finish up down there tomorrow night. I also have things to do the rest of the week that are keeping me on my toes. I knew I had to bite the bullet and pack today or I would really be panicking come the day before. Everyone has been wonderful working around this mission trip, as well as donating towards my funds. Just today I was totally shocked and received a SURPRISE mail in my mailbox. At first I was just excited to see a book I ordered had arrived. Then, I saw an envelope. The people who drove me down last year, they can’t go this year. Well, they donated the money they had raised so far. I was TOTALLY SHOCKED. Okay, I had some tears flowing people! Very unexpected. I have raised my funds, so I am going to be turning their money over to Paul who is with EAM. I know that EAM will take any money to put towards construction materials. I am sure that this is what the people would want me to do. I also added them to my list of thank you cards to write right away so I would not forget. By the way, I just finished all of my thank you cards! That is one job that I am glad to have done! Tomorrow I will mail them out. I also managed to get the bills done too. Told ya I woke up with a better attitude! They will be put in the mail box tomorrow morning on my way out the door to the training.
Now-look at that picture? I knew I had to do a trial run and pack today just to make sure that I can fit everything into the two bags. If not, I was going to have to quickly send stuff done to Grace House. I really did not want to do that. I was afraid time was running out for that. I just wanted to take it with me so I know where it is. As I said, the people who I drove down with last year can’t go, but they graciously came up with a plan and found people who are going that I can ride with. Think new adventures. I really do not know these people, but I bet I will since we will be driving over 12 hours together – 6 of us in a van 🙂 ! But, if it doesn’t work out they are only staying a week and I am staying all three – haha! I know coming home will be just fine. I am doing what I did last year. Staying at Susan’s house. I met her last year on the trip. She was one of my team leaders the first week I was there. This year, again I go to her house and spend the night. Then she takes me to the train station near her house and that is how I finish coming home. Actually, if we are not too tired, I may spend a few days at her house so I can explore her state! Adventures people – I LOVE them! Like I said, it is all working out! I just knew I had to pack really light for the three weeks due to the fact that we do not have much room in the van, and lugging stuff on and off trains is not fun! Last year, the people I drove down with actually took my tools and rain gear to their house and I got it after I got back. This year, that is not possible. However, EAM has been gracious! They are letting me use their big tools so I do not have to bring mine. I only had to bring a few small ones. I am happy to say they fit!
So, look at that photo. The top is my pile I started. That was not everything on the list. I have decided to forgo the rain gear. YES! We did have a rainy afternoon once, and one all day torrential downpour – but you still work. I have a new thought process – think of it as an extra shower! Remember, we are limited to one 5 minute shower a day at the bunkhouse! Plus, I did bring wind pants – which are like rain pants. I can grab a garbage bag and make my own rain coat if worse comes to worse. Not having to take the big tools has helped as well. Plus, knowing that on Saturdays I have a ride off the mountain into town to the laundromat made me more at ease. Face it people – we are working all day and get hot and sweaty and dirty! We wear the same work clothes (just every other day so they air out 🙂 ) so just bring the essentials. You bring clean clothes to wear for when you get back from working and shower. Again think camping and every other day if not more! Then, you bring some nice clothes for the Friday night picnics – where the host families come up the mountain and we celebrate a great work week. You also need nice clothes for when you go off the mountain to church on Sunday mornings. Plus, the church we went to last year was wonderful at feeding us. It lasted until the new campers for the week arrived Sunday nights for dinner that a local church would put on for us up at Grace House. Grace House is open, but no food provided on the weekends. But, the people that come up to drop off food donations always bring snacks and we always had leftovers in the fridge. I never had a problem last year when I stayed longer!
Now, look at that photo again. I had to go to the store people to buy a HUGE bottle of sunscreen (you go through LOTS as it is hot, and you are on roofs outside in the sun for a long time!), I also had to get a few Daniel Plan approved snacks that I am bringing. I know I can get some at the store when I go to the laundromat but wanted some for when I first get there. I am getting there earlier and we will not be allowed into the main house until the day after. That means I will be having my snacks which is fine. I mean I had room for a jar of delicious almond butter, ten tuna packs, and a box of almond milk, along with a bag of almonds! That will last me awhile and help with packing healthy lunches. Yes, EAM provides stuff for us to make our lunch, but being on the Daniel Plan I want to be careful. I know that the dinners will not all be Daniel Plan approved. Plus, church people make DELICIOUS meals – think south – BBQ stuff and desserts! So, I am doing my best to try and stay healthy. I know that EAM will have oatmeal I can make for breakfast and they always have fruit. However, I like to help out and do my part. I could put it on a list, but that is really not polite. I am lucky that I am staying so when Susan and I go off the mountain into town to do laundry, we can stop at the store.
Look, the tools fit in my tool bag so they will be easy to carry to the worksites. The tool bag fit in my bag! I have work boots in the bag and flip-flops. I will wear my sneakers down. I have all shower gear, towel, etc. I have my summer sleeping bag in one of those bags! I have my kindle and my journal, along with a book on the Appalachians that Susan had and let me borrow and read in one of those bags. I have a mushroom that I painted for one of my host families in that bag. Story is in a previous blog. I have my backpack in one of those bags! I use that when traveling in the day. That is where I put my big water bottle (which fit in the bag too!) my camera, maps to our worksite, and any other incidentals we may need – sweatshirt, your lunch, etc. Anyways, I have room to spare people! WOW! I am super de duper excited.
I am sure I will think of something I forgot – but it is okay! I have room to spare! So, as usual, after a squirrelly, panic, feeling a bit overwhelmed day I managed to pull myself together. I managed to really get a lot done! I am quite proud of myself. As the time gets closer, I am more excited and now more at ease knowing everything is going to make it down! I got this! I hope that everyone else had a great day too! Get R Done!