Alternative Spring Break, Decatur: Sunday Morning, Sun Shining

Each year during Harvard’s spring break, PBHA’s Alternative Spring Break program sends student volunteers on public service trips across the United States. This spring, 10 students traveled to Decatur, Alabama to work with the local Habitat for Humanity and volunteer in the local elementary school. The students blogged throughout the trip; this is part two of their series. Read part one here. 

Sunday morning, the sun was shining! This morning was designed to be spent with the host families. Carmen, Heba, and I got to sleep in just a bit. We’re staying with the Peebles in their refurbished barn. I was here last year and may or may not have pulled some strings to get myself back here again this year. It’s really an amazing get-away.
Woody treated us to brunch, where I swear he knew everyone coming in and out of the place. Everyone was connected one way or another. It was pretty neat. Oh also, everyone is so nice! You don’t find smiles like that in Boston unless the Pats, Sox, Celtics, and Bs all win on the same day. And I’m pretty sure that’s impossible.

After brunch Carmen and I spent the afternoon in the 75-degree sunshine, walking up and down the street until the occasional car drove by. That afternoon we had a tour of Henderson Farms. We walked around and learned about all the incredible machinery that makes the business happen. The size of the tractors were remarkable! We climbed up through the cabin and got to imagine ourselves plowing the thousands of acres of wheat, corn, and soy beans that the Hendersons tend. We finished up our time at the farm with a trip up to the top of one of the big grain elevators. The walk up was pretty scary, but holding on tight and anticipating the fantastic view to come, we all made it. We had to cram on one half of the top because only half of the railing was in place. Mom if you’re reading this, I held on tight, I promise.

We came down and took our annual group picture on the tractor. The equipment of this farm is really remarkable.

The Henderson’s dogs were running around the grounds while we were listening to Chad Henderson talk about his life farming. We have two major dog lovers in the group, Katie and George, so playing with the dogs quickly became a highlight of our visit to the farm. One of the dogs was Rosco, a really playful lab mix. After the farm, we decided to drive down to the river, about a mile away. Our caravan headed down the road, windows down, country music playing car after car. Someone in the car I was in noticed something moving on the side of the road: Rosco was running down the side of the road, trying to catch up with us as we drove down to the river. We soon passed him, which had everyone feeling bad for the speedy pup who ran fast but still fell behind.

At the river we skipped rocks, tried to skip rocks, and failed at skipping rocks. We talked about the Tennessee River and what it provides for the area’s industry. Mid-conversation, we all stopped and look up to find a tired Rosco panting and jogging his way to meet up with us. It was like the ending of Homeward Bound. I apologize to my readers who have never seen that movie.

That evening we went to Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church for dinner and mingling with the Church’s youth community. There was a live band and lots of lively songs of worship. It was very engaging and I think we all really enjoyed our time there. While we were there we caught word of the snow that was falling in Boston. We were close before we left but the snowfall that night ended up breaking the record for snowfall in one winter with over 109 inches. It was apparently breaking news on the evening news.

That night we finished up with our favorite activity of the week: group hangout. We met back at the Maloney’s for pie and gossiping; our favorite combination.

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