Dallas A.S.B. — Day 6

FB_IMG_1426226445888

By Laura Pappas

We knew this day would come, but we didn’t  expected it to be this soon: It’s our last day in Dallas. We had our final work day at Cockrell Hill Methodist Church, and focused our attention on the youth center. Together we finished painting, cleaning, and scrubbing carpets in the interior. Then on the outside, we continued to paint the trim around the windows, and applied a base coat to the side and back of the house. The plan is for another group to come and finish where we left off.

Toward the end of the work day, overwhelming feelings could be felt within the group. We were slightly tired after a long day of work, excited about getting back to C2K to begin our evening activities, and proud of all the work we were able to accomplish over these last few days. It was so amazing to walk through the youth center and witness the transformation that had taken place or sit inside the sanctuary, which now appears to sparkle after new lights and paint!

Above all else, we felt grateful. We are thankful for Pablo and Joe and the wisdom they passed along these past couple days, the supply runs they made to Home Depot, the helping hands they lent when we needed them, and for allowing us to come down and work with them. They are truly amazing people, and we only hope to one day see them both again! We are also grateful for the congregation of Cockrell Hill. Including the wonderful women who made us homemade Mexican food everyday for lunch, and all the members we got a chance to meet. They were so appreciative of everything we had done, and would always find a way to show it, even with just a smile. We’re also thankful for the DJ who brought tunes to our Fiesta today and gave us the chance to laugh and dance with our new friends from the church! We are so humbled for the chance to help you all out, and wish you the best with everything!

After our work day, we went for one last dinner and dessert as a group, before coming back to C2K to clean and pack. Tomorrow will be bittersweet as we make the long journey back to Erie. The best way I can think of to end our Last Work Day post is with the quote of the week.

“Work like you don’t need the money, Love like you have never been hurt, Dance like no one is watching!”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Dallas A.S.B. — Day 5

IMG_20150312_011648

By Laura Pappas

The sun was out and shining today! As we embraced the warmth of Dallas, we continued our work at Cockrell Hill United Methodist Church. One group worked on fixing some electrical components to make sure the inside of the sanctuary is as bright as the outdoors. Another group worked hard inside the youth center and managed to paint four rooms today!

A couple of groups did get to work on their tans. One painted some fresh lines in the parking lot. The last group scrapped and painted the windows of the youth center. We also had a couple of special surprises today. We were welcomed with breakfest tacos and Pablo’s son, Jack, hung out with us and even helped paint some walls! Some other members stopped by to see our progress. It’s so great to see how pleased they are with our progress, and hard to believe tomorrow is our last day of work!

After work, we reflected on people we’ve gotten close too, challenges we faced, and how we’ve felt on the trip thus far. We did this by two methods, self reflection inside the church and large-group reflection atop the roof!

For our adventures this evening, we split up into two groups. Half of us tried out our dancing feet and learned to line dance! The other half challenged each other at Urban Air- an indoor trampoline gymnasium, with dodgeball. Both groups then headed downtown to explore Dallas, and ate some local sweet  treats!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Dallas A.S.B. — Day 4

IMG_20150311_002711

By Laura Pappas

We were back at it today! Although the weather was somewhat better, we still spent the day finishing up our indoor projects. The groups in the sanctuary painted another coat on the back wall and continued to replace lights to make the already beautiful worship place even prettier. The beautification project extended into the hallways where another group cleaned all the walls and light fixtures.

However, throughout the day, the renovation projects seemed to shift focus to the youth group center. Groups there cleaned, prepped, and painted four rooms, complete with an accent walls! They also prepped the outside for painting tomorrow. Our final group had one of the toughest tasks yet: the garage. And they conquered it by decluttering and reorganizing the space, so there is now a small work area for any future projects the youth group may have.

For lunch today, we joined the seniors of the church in a Fiesta! Together we jammed to music and ate Fiesta Bowls. We loved the opportunity to talk with them and look forward to Thursday when they join us again.

After a hard day of work, we treated ourselves to Sonic, and returned to C2K just in time for slow-cooked chicken for dinner! We also took time to reflect on our growth as a group, service to the community, and ways to break out of our comfort zone to make the trip even more meaningful.

Finally, we took a couple hours to explore Dallas! This included the Truck Yard, a local attraction which features a country- backyard feel, but has some of the most delicious food served from food trucks. Then we stopped at some other local stores on our way to one of the best views of Dallas for some Kodak moments!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dallas A.S.B. — Day 3

IMG952488

By Laura Pappas

Not even the rain could stop ASB on our first work day! We got up at 7:30 a.m. and were treated to a traditional Spanish breakfast provided by C2K. We then left to go meet Pastor Pablo and Pastor Joe of Cockrell Hill Methodist Church, who knew that the way to our hearts was through our stomachs. So to start our work day, we indulged in coffee and pan dulce’!

It wasn’t long until the church was flooding with activity! One group did an outstanding job cleaning and organizing the reading nook choir room. Another group built scaffolding to replace light bulbs in the front of the sanctuary. The new lights coupled with a fresh coat of white paint provided by our third group, really brightened up the place! And finally, our fourth group was working on cleaning a building adjacent to the church which they plan to use as a youth group center.

Our work today was rewarding, fun, and brought us closer as a group. However, it was the people we met who really made the day special. Pablo is always quick to share a funny and inspiring story. Joe isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty and would often jump in and help out. Other members of the church also stopped by to meet us, including a few wonderful women who drove an hour to make us lunch and deliver desserts!

After returning to the C2K housing, we were treated to some home-cooked lasagna and garlic bread for dinner. Then we reflected on the highs of the day and made a ‘web’ of connections to bring our group closer. And if the day was crazy enough, we ended it with a volleyball tournament between the vans. Things got pretty competitive, but it was all in good fun, and the winning van was “Betty White,” led by advisor Sarah and President Paul!

It has been a terrific Monday, and we look forward to sunny skies and more work days ahead!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dallas A.S.B. — Day 2

IMG_2960

By Laura Pappas

Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” — President John Kennedy

Today, our group got to learn about the life, presidency, and legacy of this great man. We spent our morning at the Sixth Floor Museum, which is located in the former Texas Book Depository: the site of Lee Harvey Oswald’ s sniper nest. As a group chosen based on their dedication to service, it was inspirational to hear the words of someone who spent his presidency doing the same.

After the tour, we broke off in our vans for a quick lunch before getting thrown back into old-country times. The Stock Yard features cowboys, longhorns, mechanical bulls, and cattledrives. Then we topped the day off with dinner and some line dancing at Billy Bob’s BBQ! It was such an awesome day, soaking up the culture of the south!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Dallas A.S.B. — Day 1

IMG952397

By Laura Pappas

After seven hours and nearly 1,300 miles, our crew finally made it to Dallas. Although the journey may have been long, it was fun, safe, and most importantly, we landed in sunny 60-degree weather.

After claiming bunks and getting situated in our living quarters, we toured the C2K campus. Our main building includes the bunk rooms, a common area big enough to fit all of twenty-eight of us, and a kitchen where the amazing Jill cooked us a home-cooked dinner. Their church right across the street has one of the largest organs in Texas, a youth room, a full sized basketball court, and a beautiful roof top view of Dallas! Everyone has been so welcoming, and C2K already feels like home!

As a way to kickoff the week and get to know the group better, we made inspirational origami fortune cookies! At the start of each work day, we will all pick out an origami cookie and see what inspirational quotes our fellow group members wrote for us.

Tomorrow, we will have our cultural day! On our agenda is a tour of the JFK museum and an evening at the stock yard. Look out for a recap tomorrow; until then, goodnight!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.