Alternative Spring Break, Decatur: Thursday Showers

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 six of their series.

We woke up to pouring rain on Thursday and were on standby to hear if we would have work that day or not. No word from Lewana, one of our site managers, which meant work was on!

The weather cleared up not long after we got there and we got to work. It was a slightly more leisurely day but we still got a lot done. We ended up finishing earlier than expected and had more of the afternoon to do something fun. In a sort of last minute call, Bill O’Brien brought us to the local Wheeler Wildlife Reserve, where we spoke with a ranger and watched several different species of birds in their natural habitat.

We saw one crane catch its breakfast. It was in preying position for probably five minutes, tensing up and extending it’s neck, leaving us anticipating the attack before it finally relaxed. We watched for several minutes as the process repeated and finally it stabbed down and we were all thoroughly entertained.

While we were there we saw a couple bald eagles flying, a great white swan swimming, and several turtles sun-bathing. It was really a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

That night we all got back together to go to the Maloney’s house for dinner. We invited all of our friends from the worksite and enjoyed Big Bob Gibson’s barbeque. It was a great way to say goodbye to our teammates on the house project.

That night was also the Harvard-UNC game. Harvard won its spot in the NCAA tournament Saturday with a close win against Yale in a playoff game. We watched that game on Saturday together on Mark’s computer screen after the Air and Space Museum and it was so exciting! The game against UNC didn’t have the same outcome, but it was great to see our team compete in the Big Dance nonetheless.

We sat outside at the Maloney’s until the rain started to come down. We ate lots of pie and enjoyed each other’s company, recognizing that the trip was quickly approaching its end.

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