Alternative Spring Break leads to an abnormal vacation

Just ignore the stress brought on by not knowing where you’re going until a month before. Just ignore the worry about not having yet reached your financial goal. Just ignore the lack of sleep caused by your normal activities combined with the numerous fund-raisers. Spring break: One big bundle of worry and stress.

Just focus on the smiles that you will bring to the faces of children. Just focus on the appreciation you will receive from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Just focus on the everlasting experience you will be getting.

Spring break: One big bundle of anticipation and excitement.

But don’t let me scare you. It’s well worth it. Alternative Spring Break is one of the most thrilling, gut-wrenching, roller coaster of a ride group you can join.

I have the privilege of being one of 11 students who, on April 2, will be on a plane headed for Louisiana. After two years of volunteering in Nicaragua, ASB has decided to stay within our own country’s borders and provide help to our Southern brethren. For eight days, we will be honing our construction skills in order to lend a hand to the people of Houma.

It feels like just yesterday I received the phone call letting me know that I had been accepted into the group, but it was almost five months ago. And now here we are, less than two weeks away.

We’ve all seen footage and photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Still, you never know what to expect. As the countdown continues, the thoughts about what we will be doing and seeing creep from the back of my mind to the front.

Restlessness would be the way to describe it. My body wants to get to work. My mind is craving the first-hand experience. My heart wants to bring joy and hope to those people.

The entire group has faced uncertainty about our exact location and with what organization we will be working with. The entire group has faced the worry about how safe the area will be. The entire group has faced several twists and turns that have only brought us closer together as a team.

Focus on the fact that you are making a difference in this world, in one person’s life and you’ll realize that the fear, concern and anxiety disappears.

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