Charleston, SC 3 - Habitat for Humanity (Post 1)

Let's get this out in the open early: as site leaders, Dylan and I are not supposed to be blogging. But, what can we say? We're rebels and this entry has a very specific cause. While our twitter feed (@MAB_Charleston) has been littered with happy, smiling faces and pretty sunsets for the past 72 hours, the road to Charleston wasn't as carefree or easy as we would have all our loyal followers, friends, and families believe.

To put it bluntly, it's been a rough week for us. In the past 7 days, we have been on a roller coaster of emotions and mini-crises. We ping ponged between not having housing, not having money, and not having housing or a place to serve. Magically (and by magically, I mean through the power of people who care and have endlessly compassionate and giving hearts) our problems were all solved just 20 hours before we were set to depart. This incredibly stressful experience was well worth it though. Yesterday was only our third day, our first full day in Charleston, and our participants have already rewarded us with fantastic memories, hilarious moments, and showcases of poignancy and compassion at the most unexpected times.

Our participants are SUPER! We loved this pit stop in Metropolis, IL to visit the largest statue of Superman.

Yesterday, on our free day, we wandered Folly Beach and strolled through the streets of Downtown Charleston. Seeing our participants come alive and become excited about what the week held, has been the highlight of the trip thus far. It helped seal the bond that we began to form during our 14+ hour long van ride, which spanned over 6 states in 2 days. Inside jokes became a thing and we learned a lot about each other by finally settling into the happy place of comfort that enables people to shut off their social filters and just be who they are. Following a day in the sun (okay, and the chilling breeze), we made a pretty darn good spaghetti dinner and enjoyed some family-esque banter across the table.

Group shopping trip. Purchasing the ingredients to make our spaghetti dinner.

We rounded out the day by doing a "camera confessional" form of reflection. Before we head into our first day of service, Dylan and I asked our participants to shared their expectations, hopes, fears, and goals for the week... on camera. For many of them, this was almost more nerve-wracking than hopping into a van with near-strangers and traveling halfway across the country. It was really wonderful to hear all of their thoughts and I'm so glad they humored us! We'll continue to record their experiences and thoughts throughout the week. After it's all said and done (literally!), I'll compile the footage and photos for them in a video. I can't wait to share the completed compilation video with them at the end of the trip. Hopefully, it'll give them a compelling way to see how much they've grown and remember everything they've experienced this week.

Ready to fight off any negativity that might come our way this week.

Keep checking back and you'll get a small taste of what or participants are doing this week! Each day, a pair will be blogging about their day.

Peace, love, fly like a dove,
Brooke and Dylan

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