Alternative Spring Break, Decatur: The Beginning!

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 one of their series.

It was an early morning (for some of us, a late night) Saturday when the ten of us took off for Decatur, Alabama where we’d be spending out spring break building a house with Habitat for Humanity and learning a bit about southern culture. Of the ten of us Harvard students, six are returners and making their second voyage to Alabama. We have four new group members and they all are a wonderful addition to our team!

My name is Tanner and I am a junior at the college. I am going to be writing a little bit about our time this week.

Saturday we were wheels-up at 4:55am. During our three-hour layover in Charlotte the majority of us utilized the open floor space as napping grounds and our backpacks as pillows. By the time we touched down in Alabama around noon, it’s safe to say we were still a little groggy.That quickly changed, however, with a highly-anticipated trip to Cracker Barrel. Here we had a few group members experience southern cooking for the first time. We had biscuits, and butter, and more butter, and it was great!

That afternoon we spent the day walking around the Air and Space Museum. That was super cool! We saw the Saturn V and how big that hunk of engineering really is.

That evening was, you guessed it, comprised of more food. At the house of Mark and Gay Maloney, whose daughter started this program over ten years ago and help keep it going strong each year, we had a nice cook-out with the house families, and spent the evening on the porch getting to know one another better. It was a lovely end to a wonderful (yet tiring) day!