Alternative Spring Break, Decatur: The Bittersweet Ending

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 eight of their series.

On Saturday we went to Nashville for the day. It was such a fun day! We started pretty early and began our journey northward. We went to a great restaurant called Burger Up on 12th Ave and then hung around that neighborhood enjoying the sunshine and each other’s company. We played this game called “Odds Are” which basically lead to a whole lot of dare-doing which was super entertaining. We had popsicles at Las Palatas, just like last year, and I had an avocado flavored one which was a new experience for me.

The next thing we did was tour Vanderbilt with the help of one of Le’s friends from high school. That campus is so pretty! We really enjoyed getting the student perspective and learn more about what it’s like to go to school at Vanderbilt. We also saw the Law School, where Mark asked Gay out for the first time. The rest is history…

That night we went to Broadway and got a big table at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. It was a total tourist trap, but it was still really fun to be together and talk about all the adventures we shared throughout the week. It was a final super that we won’t forget!

We took off the next morning around 10am. Our 30 minute layover in Charlotte turned into a 2 hour wait as our new aircraft arrived. It turned out our initial plane was having a little bit of plumbing trouble. What were the chances of two toilets being defunct just before take off? Not very high.

We actually didn’t mind the delay. We spent the time sharing best moments and funniest quotes. We talked about plans to meet up again as a group and exchanged numbers and Facebook friend requests.

Soon one by one people started to pull our their homework and laptops and begin work that we were ignoring all week. Reality began to settle back in. Break was coming to an end and it was time to go back to school. I knew I had meetings to go to the second I got off the T at Harvard Square and I was reluctant to think about it the whole plane ride back. I am a different person when I am in Alabama. 

This trip to Alabama is like nothing else. It is a pause on everything that is stressful at school and a chance to relax and reflect on our sometimes twisted priorities. It is a week that is so spiritual and loving that you come back refreshed and with a rested soul. Our week in Alabama is special because for everyone it’s a different experience. Everyone takes home a different story. And everyone has with them now a little piece of the big beautiful south.

Thank you everyone who made this week possible. I will never forget my two weeks in Alabama! 

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