Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Beginning

Arriving at the campus in Denver was very exciting because I knew that the next 10 months was going to be an amazing experience. The first month we stayed at our Denver campus where we completed our basic training, CTI (Corps Training Institute). At times the training was like any lecture you received in school but for the most part they made it fun. CTI was a great opportunity to meet new people and I learned a lot about myself. At first it was hard to adjust to my new surroundings because it was the first time in my life where I knew nobody. The 250+ members at the campus made it very comfortable for everyone. During CTI we rotated between the five team leaders in our unit, so it was easy to learn about the members in the Water Unit. We were able to do some exciting things during the month of training. Some highlights included rock climbing, a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, and seeing Red Rocks, which has the most amazing view to see a music concert. My favorite time during CTI had to be when I found out our teams. I remember the cameras following us to meet Ashley, our team leader, and that’s when I first knew that I would be on Water 4, which is the team that was going to be doing the NBC documentary. I couldn’t be happier with our team. Each person brings something different to the table and I wouldn’t want to share the next nine months with anyone else.

Our first project is in Lafayette, Louisiana. It took us three days to get here. The drive was a great opportunity to learn about the rest of my teammates. We drove through Colorado, New Mexico and Texas before our final stop. We made two stops in Texas, in Amarillo and Tyler. Being from the Midwest, I don’t get to see the landscape that we were able to see. It made the three-day journey much more enjoyable.

The project itself is a great first project. We are working with Habitat for Humanity building homes for those who were affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We met with some of the homeowners and they have been wonderful to us. It has been hard to hear their stories about how they lost their homes. I have had a lot of fun on the worksite. My family has always been involved in construction so I am finally able to see what it’s like. We have been able to do a bunch of different things on the site. I really enjoy using all of the saws. We have been working on three houses and they are going up so fast. I can’t wait to see how much gets done in our month here. I’m glad we get the opportunity to write and be a part of the documentary that shows everyone the good that AmeriCorps NCCC does for this country.

~ Jeremy

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