Alternative Spring Break, Decatur: Wednesday, Daybreak to Midnight

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 five of their series. 

Wednesday morning was an early start for this group. We had breakfast with the Rotary Daybreak Club of Decatur, who supports this trip year after year. We sat with members of the club for a bit and talked about our lives at Harvard and what we like to do. Again and again the club members were sharing with us their sincerest thanks to us for giving our time to their community. It was really nice to see how our actions can affect others, even when they aren’t directly related to our efforts.

The day at the site was a great one. The weather was perfect; not too hot but lots and lots of sunshine. I really enjoyed my time again up on the roof and on this day more people who hadn’t gone up before had a chance to enjoy the heights.

We had an early departure time at 2:30. We had a private tour of United Launch Alliance, which manufactures really big rockets for the Government and other entities. The rockets shoot up satellites and other things in need of bring put into orbit and the size of them are remarkable. The role of ULA is not to make the rockets ready to go boom. Instead, they just make the casing and the structure, which are then sent down to Florida or California, where they are fueled and then launched. I would love to witness a launch at some point, these things were massive! The warehouse we toured was bigger than I can properly articulate. We lost sense of scale inside there. The building alone was bigger than 26 football fields combined! It was very cool to see how these rockets were made.

After touring ULA we headed back to our host families for dinner with them. The Peebles treated us to a delicious Italian meal at a restaurant called Bravo!

Afterward we met up at the house of Bill and Terry O’Brien for some pie and group hangout time. We were laughing so hard we lost total sense of time. We ended up not getting home until close to 1am, but again, it was totally worth it.

By Wednesday night, we were really starting to mold as a group.

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