Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 6
Plungers had their last day of service today. We finished the back porch with only a few minor glitches. Once all the work was done, Plungers headed out to a beautiful, freezing cold waterfall. We plunged into the breath taking waterfall and had a blast. On our way home, we stopped by the house we worked at for one last goodbye. After hugs, we drove home and their wasn't a dry eye in the house. As our trip comes to an end, we reflected on both our time here and in DC. Grace House will be missed by all. Plungers return to Roanoke tomorrow to start a new chapter in their lives and we hope that they learned a little, met a few friends and had a blast on this trip.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 5


Today was the Plungers first workday in St. Paul.  We are working on a families trailer home were both decks were in really bad shape.  The back deck was in awful shape.  There was probably a gap of about 3 feet between the back deck and the back door.  The deck was very unstable.  The family in the trailer home consists of 3 individuals.  They are as sweet as can be.  They are very open to us and happy to tell us anything we want to know.  Heck; they made us sweet tea, REAL sweet tea not that northerner tea!, and Kool-Aid!!
So, to begin our App. Plunge experience we tore down both decks.  Demolition is always the best part because you know something new will be built!!  We focused many on the front porch today because we had to leave a way for the family to get into their house. 
Out here in St. Paul people are so friendly.  Throughout the day we had people stopping by just to see what we are up to.  Talking with the locals is very insightful.  They have so much to say and are so thankful we are here to help out people in this community.  We also meet the father of the family living there.
During the debrief tonight we had the Plungers ask us any questions that they had about college.  Us leaders tried to give them tips on how to be successful at college and alleviate any fears that they had about their upcoming freshman year.

Day 6


We are writing this blog from the hammocks at the Grace House.  One of the most peaceful places on earth except those stupid mosquitoes that keep biting us!!  Today we went back to the house on Flat Top Road, that it isn’t very flat…. Kinda hilly and windy!  We first finished the front porch.  Adding the handrails and extra support.  Then we moved onto the back deck.  There we put the poles in the holes and cemented them into the ground.  Then we continued to put on the deck boards. But, we had to stop on decking because we ran out of nails. This is because the Plungers keep ruining the nails!  They actually have all been stepping out of their “comfort zones” and learning how to hammer, use a table saw, a skill saw, and other equipment that they are now comfortable with.  The Plungers have also been stepping out of their comfort zones in other aspects.  For example, talking with the family members instead of working nonstop.  They are starting to realize that this project is a lot more than just the two porches we are building.  It is more about the family that we are working with and what it means to them.  They are so thankful for the work we are doing.  When the Plungers showed the family their new front porch the could not stop saying how nice it was.  Once the Plungers are completed with the project tomorrow it will be hard to not leave the project, but to leave the family.    

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 4


Plungers awoke way too early this morning to depart from our urban home. Our drive to Noke took around 4.5 hours. Once arriving at the Chinese buffet, Plungers got to meet the one and only Mrs. Griffin. We had a "wonderful" meal at the restaurant. Did you know that Chinese buffet has AMAZING french fries? Next came grocery shopping. Well that was an experience!!! After our crazy shopping trip, we had another 3 hours to BEAUTIFUL St Paul. Once we rode up the windy road, plungers make it to their new home for the next few days. Grace House is run by the cutest couple, Jerry and Anita. After a wonderful spaghetti dinner and reflection, all are ready for bed.

Quote of the day

"Those vines can kill you if you lay in them. Well if you were to lay in them for like 60 years."-Giggle Box (aka Mollie Gleason)
"I drive everywhere even to the mailbox. Screw walking!"- Momo

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 18, 2012

Day 3

Well...... the traveling to the Capital Food Bank could have gone better, but that thing they call the Metro did not serve us well!!!  They shut down our route.  We finally got to the Food Bank (just an hour late!). Opps.  There we meet a beautiful/wonder/sweet lady, Ms. Oye.  She was full of energy which made this service site very meaningful for everyone. At the Capital Food Bank we cleaned and packaged canned food.  Later found out we may have packaged some things wrong.  Did you know there difference between tomato products and spaghetti sauce?! We didn't either!

The other plungers worked very hard gleaning. All the food that was collected ended up at the Capital Area Food Bank. The plungers worked hard in fields collecting various vegetables and fruits. They even had time to make up a skit and preform it, while the other group did a lot of improvising.

After our great adventures, we returned to YSOP to have a couple of activities in order for us to reflect on our time here. Once the reflection was done, we headed over to Pho DC for a true Vietnamese dinner. Once finished with Pho DC, a quick tour of Chinatown was in store. Then the real fun happened! We went and saw the White House. Did you know there isn't a front door? Just a north side and a south side, but the south side is where the back lawn is. Then we saw the cracked Washington Monument. Some were nervous it would crumble and fall, but all pieces held tight.  Now we are in our "comfy" beds and ready for a full day of traveling. See you later, DC. Its been great, but Anita and Jerry are waiting our arrival in beautiful St. Paul, VA.

Quotes of the Day

"It's two syllables"- Robin Hood (aka Robby)
"This has been a life changing experience and I've taken a lot from it but now all I want to do is leave this place in a better state than I found it and make a lot of people happy along the way. Hi Mom!"- Momo (aka Morgan)

Shout out to Rich and Laura at YSOP for all of their hard work last night and today and thanks to Kendra for spending the night with us.

Thanks to the Chief Editor Greg Snyder for all your corrections!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

 August 17, 2012

Day 2

The first day of service began with a short bus ride over to a nonprofit called Bread for the City. Bread for the city is a one stop shop for things like food, medical care and legal advice. After a brief tour of the facilities, we headed up to the roof top garden. The roof top garden consisted of different fruits and vegetables such as honeydew, eggplant and peanuts. We watered all of the plants with collected rainwater. On the corner of the rooftop were russian bees. We learned that the russian bees are much more calm then other breeds. After watering, plungers moved onto the orchard to do some mulching. While at the orchard, we learned that the Asian pear trees are better than American pear trees. The other group of plungers went to the Regency house. After sorting food, plungers created commodity bags to deliver to the elderly and disabled. Delivery was more than an adventure for all. 

For a midday snack, we headed to the best pizza place in DC. After walking a good 456 miles, plungers made it to Jumbo Slice. After enjoying the massive slice (seen below), we walked/rolled back to the church where we reside.  

Tonight we prepared and served dinner to the homeless in Washington DC.  We created a spicy stir fry and Lasagna.  The dinner was served to about 40 homeless and ourselves.  We ate along side the homeless and had great conversations with them.  Some of them funny and others heartfelt.  At the end of the meal we wrapped things up with a debrief.  The Plungers were touched, inspired, and  moved by the people they just met.  Apparently us group leaders should stay away from cooking because it was toooooo SPICY!  Opps.  

We are looking forward to another service day tomorrow.  Good night all.

Quotes of the Day

"Wealth isn't in the money you make it is in the peoples lives you change." - Tommy Boy

"I'll suffer the price for Jumbo Slice" - J Riggs

Thanks to the Chief Editor Greg Snyder for all your corrections!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16th, 2012

Day #1

Our day began with the new students (Plungers) arriving at Roanoke College to begin their college careers.  After they mass of paperwork they moved into their dorm rooms.  Before departing from Roanoke College to Washington DC the Plungers got to know each other.  After some enthusiastic ice breakers the Plungers seemed to be bonding.  We have arrived in Washington DC after a trip that consisted of singing, laughing, WENDY's, and DC traffic!  We are now settled in at the YSOP after getting a tour of our new home for the next couple of days.  The Plungers are now relaxing before bed playing some Apples To Apples (and I must say there is a little too much laughter)!!  We are off to bed and ready for serving the local DC community.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15th, 2012

Jesse Griffin, Mollie Gleason, and Jimmy Riggs are going to keep an updated blog, hopefully posting everyday, about what these 8 incoming freshman are doing daily.  We will try to upload some pictures from the days work and keep you up with how everything is going.  Us leaders could not be more excited to get this trip going!  It is going to be a blast to see these young adults in their first week of college, but also to see the impact they are going to make in the communities of Washington DC, St. Paul, VA and ultimately Roanoke College.