I left my heart in Texas…

Going into Alternative Spring Break, I had no idea what to expect because I had never done anything like it before. However I did know that I would be making a difference in the community while at the same time forming strong relationships with my fellow ASB volunteers. Since it is difficult to sum up my entire week in one entry, let me provide you with a list of my favorite and most memorable moments that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

El Paso, Texas – I had never been in the Southwestern part of the US before this trip, and being in El Paso was like being in a different world for me. I loved the Texan culture and truly admired their Southern pride. Everyone in the South was welcoming and friendly, something often hard to come by in Boston. The weather was wonderful and the views picture-perfect – I don’t think any of us could have asked for a more interesting and exciting location for ASB.

Habitat for Humanity – Before the trip I knew very little about Habitat and what they stood for. I was glad I got to work on their team and find out how they operated. Volunteers for Habitat across the country do a lot of amazing work for those less fortunate. I especially admired the work of our leader Muriel and contractor Henry, because they are genuine people who give their time and hearts day after day to the cause. I would love to work for their organization in the future.

Building – The thing that I was most nervous about before going on ASB was the actual construction of the house we were to build. I am not the most handy person in the world, and I was afraid I would be useless on the site. Luckily, Henry and my peers were very supportive, and before I knew it I was hammering nails, painting, and helping to build whole walls. At the end of each day I was dirty, sweaty, sunburned, and exhausted, but still proud of what I had done. This trip helped me to realize I could accomplish challenges outside of my comfort zone.

The Border – Muriel educated us on one of the biggest problems facing El Paso – border security and immigration. The slide show she presented to us really opened up my eyes to the reality of the US-Mexican border issues, a subject that I knew very little about. Learning more about it really made me want to help the cause even more, and made me glad that even though we were only helping to build one house, we were still making a difference.

The Group – Although we worked hard all day, we had a lot of fun together on our time off. This trip gave me the opportunity to meet Suffolk students and staff that I would never have normally met. We were all united under one cause, and had a lot of fun at it, too. We made more inside jokes, amazing memories, and strong friendships in one week than one could ever imagine. We even joked that we all got a little too comfortable with each other too quickly!

This trip was so amazing, I didn’t want to leave Texas or my fellow volunteers when it came to an end. I learned so much about myself and others, and I don’t think that I stopped smiling the whole time. I recommend a trip like this to anyone who wants to make a difference and make some great friends along the way.

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