Monday, September 26, 2005


Apparently the fall look this year has a "military" component to it. I'm totally in fashion and I didn't realize it! :) The tag line is "the uniform look is anything but. this season it's modern and sexy." Now, since I do have to wear closed toed shoes, I can't go to outrageous with my accessories, but I think some heels would look really nice with our BDU's (battle dress uniform--our pants are made by the same people who make the military fatigues). Perhaps I will organize a fashion show here with the Ameriwear uniforms and it could be just like the runways that are highlighting military fashion....... It could be a great way to advertise NCCC.

In other news, I have been a bit ill. I think it could be due to the fact that last week I got about 5 hours of sleep per night and three of those days I was doing construction with Habitat for Humanity-- not easy work, let me tell you. It could just be allergy related, but my attempts to get the problem to go away haven't worked at all. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Our team name has changed. The "Phantastic Five" wasn't really cutting it for pretty much everyone. I'm not certain how it got voted into place, but no one was supporting it, or even refrencing it. We've come to an agreement on "Gold Rush." Personally, I like it-- it has a Cali ring to it, which always makes things better.

Speaking of Cali, I got myself into a bit of trouble with a North Carolinan. Our two teams were working together at the Habitat house and we got to talking as we were putting the tresses on the house using 2x4's as extended arms (quite the experience, I assure you). Anyways, he asked me where I was from and I said "Southern Califonia." Of course his response was enthusiastic. I, in turn, asked him where he was from. "North Carolina," he replied. "Oh," I said, with no enthusiasm. He took offense, in jest, but it was funny all the same. We both agreed to visit the others state since we had both never been to each others. To be honest, unless I end up there on a spike, I'm not sure I'll keep up my end of the bargain, but he is definetly planning on heading out to Southern Cali next summer. Oh, his name is Addison.

I went to a local bar on saturday night and it truly was a locals bar. A teammate has a friend from her hometown that works there and we went to meet up with her. The name, in case you're wondering, is "Buffalo South" and there slogan is "Where the locals roam." It was an interesting night. :)

Not much else to report, things are going well. Hope to find out where I'll be heading after training sometime soon. When I know--you'll know.

Grace and Peace.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Cali girls on the beach at Sullivan's Island. We watched American Beauty that night and needed an uplifting adventure--so we piled in Whitney's car and headed to the beach around 9:30pm. Good times had by all. (l-r: jen, meredith, me-of course).  Posted by Picasa

A picture of my team at our first work site--Sea Island Habitat for Humanity. We were pretty excited to be out of the classroom and doing something! Top row:Shay, Adam, Alena, Me, Jen, Naomi, David. Bottow row: Meredith, Whitney, Deanne & Joy. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 19, 2005

Physical Training and More--Version 2

I am running. It's dark, it's foggy and there are trees on both sides of me reaching down towards me creating a slight claustrophobic feeling. The one person running in front of me has no distinguishable lines due to the fact that the fog/mist has attacked my glasses. I try to clean them, but 2 seconds later they are fogged up. I am awaiting an attack from the alligator or other named monster that has been following me through the marshes, looking for the opportune moment to take out my ankles and drag me into the abyss. Garth Brooks and my running companion are keeping me from running back towards civilization screaming at the top of my lungs. Just another morning of PT in AmeriCorps.

In mosquito related news--my toes are healing quite nicely. However, I seem to be consistently getting more bites despite the aresenal of bug repellent I have (which , of course is kept at my bedside). I currently have one on the back of my left knee that is the size of my calf. Thankfully, it has been getting smaller due to the application of hydrochloride (anit-itch) cream. My team members were good enough to pick some up for me and I will be forever greatful.

We finished van training today. It really wasn't so bad--6 of us with the Supply Manager driving around Charleston. James (S.M.) gave us a tour and pointed out places we might like to visit while we are here. However, it wasn't all fun and games. There were a good 30 minutes of sheer horror in which I lost all color in my face and had to restrain myself from puking (which I hate to do beyond anything else in this world). James had each of us swerve in and out of cement islands across the width of the parking lot. In a 15 passenger van, it takes a bit of skill, but mainly, the passengers just get pretty nauseated. Then he had us drive to one end of the parking lot stop, floor it and then wait for his signal to slam on the brakes. Each of us did this three to five times. I almost lost it. Mind you, when it was my turn, I performed all tasks beautifully--give a little shout out to Class B van driver training. :) Holla back AC's!

Not much else to report, so I'll end this post for now. Mind you, this is my second time writing it and I think the first message was better. It's always difficult to re-create your wit and actually be pleased with the outcome.

I won't lie to you, I've been a bit homesick. Not for the smog (Brandon), but for all the wonderful people I cherish as my family and friends. I received my first letter today (From Dr. Carlson) and my first package today (from my amazing parents). I was thrilled.

One last thing-- our team name (for now, it's possible that it could be changed) is Phantastic Five. Don't ask.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

What's Up Party People

Hey y'all. Not much to report here... Still in training.
The Ophelia effects on our weather have passed and so its been really warm and humid today. No fun at all! And because the wind has died down, the mosquito's have come out in full force. Last night I had a one on one with my team leader, Master D, and during our 30 min. conversation I received 12 mosquito bites--mostly between my toes as I was wearing flip flops and pants. Not good at all! My toes have never been so itchy!
Gotta keep this short, but thanks for all the shout outs. They make my day.
Stay Classy. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Van Driving 101

Today was spent from 8-5 in the lovely and beautiful Sterrett Hall. Oh so much fun, words cannot describe. It was difficult to stay awake through the presentations about driving 15 passenger vans. Not only because I had heard all the horror stories and rules/regulations before but also because it was really, really, really, really ridiculously hot and stuffy in the hall. Again. It's all about being flexible though. The only really frustrating part of the day was during lunch. Some of my fellow team members and myself were discussing a hot topic and really bonding through our discussion. A team leader came by to inform us that there was going to be an "activity" on the other side of the building and basically made us join the rest of the group. What was this important activity, you may be asking yourself. Well, I'll tell you. A huge game of tag. Now tell me, what was more important in the situation? An intriguing discussion that was developing bonds among team members OR playing tag with 180 people in grass that hadn't been cut in months? If you say the later, please do not respond. :)
At this juncture I would like to take a moment to say how blessed I feel to have a team of people who doesn't willing want to participate in "summer camp" as we fondly refer to things like what happened at lunch. We are, for the most part, fairly enthusiastic and willing to do our part, but we don't have to express ourselves with ridiculous chants, clapping or playing elementary school games. On a side note, I usually don't mind running around like a 5 year old, but there are always times when it seems to be untimely--this was one of those times.
completely changing subjects: P.T. starts bright and early tomorrow morning at 5:30 am. I'm hoping that some of the wind that is being generated by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Ophelia dies down by that time. I went for a run last night with a teammate and it felt like I was running the wrong way in a wind tunnel. It was pretty bad. Only time will tell. I do know that they are preparing us for a 5K at the end of training. Good times will be had by all.
Not much else to report besides the FACT that I am beginning to miss people from home. The initial enthusiasm of being in a new place has begun to wane and I am starting to feel a little lonesome. Generally this only happens in the evening when I don't have much going on. So, if you get a call and I just want to hear a familiar voice, please just humor me. Thank you, in advance.
Grace and Peace.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Downtown Charleston

On Friday night, my team headed downtown for a little bit of fun and to see what Charleston is known for: it's beautiful architecture and city life. This is a picture I snapped while we were down by the water, facing into the city.
We had a really fun time. There is an open market with fun jewlery, hand made baskets, purses, clothing, scented oils... the list goes on and on. It was really fantastic. Later on that night, a few of my team members and I came back downtown to see the local bar scene. We went to one of the bars that had a live blue grass band. They were really good. They had a fiddle, mandolin, banjo and bass guitar, and of course they sang as well. :) It was good times.

After hanging out there for a bit, Naomi (a teammate from Maine) and I decided to take a rickshaw ride. They aren't traditional rickshaws (they are pulled by bikes), but it was very fun, all the same. We went through Battery Park and drove past all the old mansions along the water front and a bit inland. They were some of the most beautiful houses I've ever seen. Our driver, Jared, informed us that they ranged from 4-6 million and they were mostly second homes. Gotta love the rich! :) It took a couple times to get this picture and even still, it's not the best! But there we are, en route.

Other than that, we haven't been doing too much. We had our physicals (I was cleared without any hiccups). What was a little gross was that they had us line up for our peeing in a cup and then the bathroom was right next to the line. So all of us had to walk out with our pee in our cup right by everyone else. I walked proudly by.

I haven't been too homesick yet. The weekends seem to be when it will hit the most because they don't have as much for us to do. But I was able to go to church and I went to the beach on both Saturday and Sunday. Good times. The beach in So Cal is 100 times better.

Peace and Love.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Day Three-ish

Well, technically I have been here for three days, but it's day two of training. I'm sure you are shocked that you're reading another posting so quickly after the first one, but I try to keep you on your toes.

We've had some good times so far together as a team. We have been doing "In Processing" the past two days-- SO MUCH FUN! Who knew filling out paper work could be so thrilling. Not really, not even a little bit.

We have been attempting to come up with a team name and have thus far been unsuccessful. Our unit number is Gold 5. Here are some of the ideas we've come up with so far:

1. OG5 (as in Original Gangsters--not my idea, but I kinda liked it!)
2. Fly Five
3. Five x 2 +1 (there are 11 of us)
4. the Really Really Really Really Ridiculously Helpful Team

Can you tell we've had our creative juices flowing? :)

In other news:
We got our uniforms issued today. Once I get a chance to suit up I'll try and post a picture of the fabulous "outfit" (and I use that term very loosely) that I will be living in for the nest 10 months. So much fun, I can hardly stand it.
It hasn't been too warm here and the humidity hasn't been that bad either. So, no Mufusa hair yet. I'll keep you posted on that. I'm sure that it will eventually happen. So far, it's been manageable.
The mosquito's are not friendly here at all. So far, I have five or so bites. There is one on my right hand that has become swollen. Not good, but I still have full functioning of my hand, so I'm not worried yet.
Right outside the dorms there is a "wooded" area. Now, by "wooded" I mean real woods where you can't really see too far into them without seeing more trees. Pretty crazy. Last night I saw a little fox meandering around the parking lot just outside of the woods. That is something that you don't really see in Riverside. :)
Tonight our team is headed out to Downtown Charleston to get an idea of the city and see a little bit of what goes on Friday nights. We are all looking forward to our adventure. We are also planning a beach trip on Sunday... So, as you can tell, it's not just hard work around here. :) We like to spice things up from time to time.

That's all for now folks. Peace and Love from the Cali girl breathing clean air.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Greetings from Charleston!

Well, I made it safely to the other side of the country. The plane rides were a little on the bumpy side, but I was able to make it to Charleston without any hiccups. Once I got to my destination, it was a different story!
One of my bags didn't make the plane from Atlanta to Charleston--the important one with all my clothes in it, of course. So, while I was reporting that, the NCCC lady took my duffel bag and toiletries bag and loaded it onto a van. There were two other people with lost luggage and she took their stuff as well.
So, after speaking to the Delta man about the missing luggage (btw-- he said I was the nicest AmeriCorps member he had met over the years that he had worked at the airport) I got on a van and headed to the Naval base. Once there I checked in and I was given a room number. Well, I went to that room and it wasn't the right room. Major bummer because at this point, I'm sweating, I've been up since 3:30am after going to bed at 2, and I haven't eaten. So I walk back to the other building and they give me another key. Same room, different building. Also, the luggage that I did have is MIA. So at this point all I have is my backpack. So I go upstairs to the new room and there is nothing in it and my name isn't on the door. So, back downstairs to find out they changed my room to another, at least in the same building.
Once I get to my room, finally, I go and get my box of stuff that I sent out. At this point I'm thinking that if nothing else, I will at least have bedding! :) Once I retrieve my box, it's time to head back down to have our first meeting and meet our teams.
My team is really great. One girl is from Temecula and another is from Fresno--at least there are some other Californians! More about our teams later!
So around 8:30, after our meeting, I go searching for my luggage. As I am talking to some team leaders, a man comes in with my lost luggage. Praise God! And shortly there after, we find my other luggage in the back of a van.
Also, my roommate didn't show up until 10:45. Good times!
So overall, a pretty eventful day! :)
More to come... Uniform sizing is calling my name. ...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Heading On Out

Well, this is my last post from San Clemente. Yikes!

I leave in less than 7 hours for the beautiful city of Charleston to begin my adventure with AmeriCorps. I am very excited, but nervous and anxious at the same time. Please keep me in your prayers for health and safety.

I'm not sure when I'll be updating this blog, but I will make every effort to keep it as current as possible!

I leave you with a parting quote:

I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it. ~Rosalia de Castro