Guin, AL SEC Compact - Habitat for Humanity (Post 2)

Hey world,

We are the SEC compact. We forgot to tell you about our trip yesterday. We are an Alternative Breaks group from the University of Missouri that dedicates a week to service and we are on a mission to serve others through volunteering and service. This year, we are traveling to Guin, Alabama in the first ever SEC Compact Trip. Five schools from the SEC are united in the same mission that we are currently embracing. University of Missouri, University of Florida, University of Auburn, University of Georgia and University of South Carolina are the five schools that have come together to donate five weeks of service to the community of Northwest Alabama’s Habitat for Humanity Affiliate. This area was devastated by an F5 tornado in April of 2011. Major cities, such as Tuscaloosa received large amounts of aid. Smaller towns, such as Guin (home to a population under 2500) were literally wiped off the map; entire communities were lost and many structures remain unbuilt. In these cities, recovery is slow, but there is a strong sense of community and life thriving in this city. We are all excited to serve this amazing community and then bring our experiences home to our local community and our homes. We have been preparing since November for this trip, and it is finally here. Stay tuned to this blog to watch as this trip unfolds in SEC history.

It’s Sunday and we are excited as can be. It is our orientation day. The town of Alabama opened up their home and city to us. Greg and Mary started our day by showing us to our work site and our main project for this week. We will be working on Habitat’s new office and help to break ground on a new site for their upcoming Woman’s build. Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Alabama has experienced great growth over the past year, expanding into four more counties, while serving people of their community. This site has become one of the largest and most energy efficient Habitat sites in Alabama. In order to keep up with all of the expansion, the affiliate needs to build a larger office. As a result, it has begun a several year project to build a new office in the middle of all five counties. It will feature very cutting edge green energy components such as solar water heating and solar lights. During our orientation, we met the Mizzou Alternative Break group from Tuscaloosa (the Greek Trip). They did not have anything scheduled on Sunday, so they selflessly came to Guin, Alabama to help serve our community. When they arrived, we all joined in an effort to help move all of the insulation into the office and helped transport a large trailer filled with another insulating element. After returning to the work site, the other Mizzou Alternative Break (MAB) group and our trip split paths. We continued on our way to Mary’s house. We were able to meet her son and her new cattle (Sir Loin, Mmm and Good) [quite the interesting names]. While, we were here, we engaged in group bonding and some rather intense card games. Ultimate SPOONS! For those of you that do not know this game, it is a game that is very similar to Musical Chairs, but with cards and a lot more excitement. The entire group laughed, and enjoyed this game together. Following this game, Greg and Mary provided an amazing taco salad dinner with Greg’s homemade cookies (his secret recipe, personally invented, developed through years of experimentation and training). We are extremely grateful to Greg, Mary, Mrs. Teressa, and the entire community in this part of Alabama for the hospitality and love that they have given us. Today, we really grew close to each other as we spent more time together, experiencing an entirely new culture. For some participants, this area had a very different culture and was unexplored terrain. For others, it was a reminder of their home town. We experienced this together and has helped us to learn more and realize many amazing details of a great small town. Tomorrow, the construction begins as we serve on our first day at the site. We are all excited and cannot wait to see what this new day will hold for us.

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