As always 4:30 am comes very fast when you want to get rest for a long day ahead. We have been preparing for this trip for the last week and I am actually a little stressed and a bit nervous. Linda and I will lead a team of 10 NIC students to Sisters Oregon to help build a Habitat for Humanity’s house. I believe we will be the drivers and the meal organizers for the trip. It hasn’t been easy getting this together.
The trip calls for 10 students who will give up their spring break and help volunteer to build a house. I have had three meetings with the group, but the group has not been real stable. I have a student who went last year, Shayne, who can’t make the meeting times due to a class. I am hoping he remembers all he learned last year. The rest of the group has been pretty solid except that on Friday I got an email from one on the guys that he had to drop out due to work commitments. The day prior he had stopped in and paid, shaking my hand saying he was excited and ready to go.
We also lost one of the girls who was paid and committed. She had to go home to Boise where her family was dealing with family problems. She was very sad to have to go but she also had to support her family. We all understood.
Linda and I spent all day Friday shopping for food and I spent the rest of the time calling to fill the two open spots. We were successful on all points. I had a list of students who wanted to attend and since there were two spots I called Larrissa and Brenna. They had come in and talked to me earlier and said they wanted to go but wanted to go together. They only had to think for a minute and then committed, I was very happy.
On Sunday morning at 5:30 am they all met at the college and loaded into a van, Linda driving, me leading the way in our truck and camper, we set out for Sisters. The trip was mapped out as about an 8 hour drive. We left on time, a first for most college groups, and traveled through the Tri Cities down the Columbia River to Biggs Junction where we turned and sliced down Oregon to our destination. We stopped twice for bathroom stops and once for lunch. The trip took us about 7.5 hours and was very uneventful.
We entered Sisters and parked at the Chamber of Commerce. The students walked around the downtown area stretching their lags and getting the lay of the land. I called our Habitat contact Marie Clasen and she drove over to meet us and lead the group to our housing at the Lutheran Church. This trip took us a total of three blocks. We are very centrally located just three blocks off the main street of Sisters and about right in the middle of town.
We settled in and got cleaned up to go to a pot luck reception that was being held for us at a church across town. At 5:00 pm we arrived and were welcomed by about 20 Habitat supporters. They were very nice and the students were the center of attention. It’s funny how people mix up our college name. We were called Northern Idaho College, North Idaho University, and Northern Idaho University. The students enjoyed getting the university student status.
The program called for our students to get up in front of the crowd and tell everyone their name, where they were from and what they were majoring in at NIC. Our group is very diverse and they all have great direction in that respect. Every time they said they were going to be nurses, engineers, move makers, or physical education majors, the crowd would clap and murmur their approval. The makeup of the spectators and hosts were mostly retirees and they were very interested in how directed our students were.
The potluck was very good and we were able to meet all the Habitat people and our project manager, Alex. He let us know what the week presented. On Monday we will go to the site and then travel to a location and view a safety video. Then we go back to the work site and work until about 3:00 pm. Tuesday we are going to be very busy. We will be setting trusses.