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Guatemala 2018


(by Ashlee Arendt)

March 22, 2017

Another great day here in Hatteras. We woke up early to drive over to the North Carolina Aquariam. There were lots of fish, sting rays that we could touch, and the highlight–the sea turtle rehibilation center. We saw the adorable turtles, and learned about the center and what they do to save the sea turtles.
Next we visited the largest brick lighthouse in the United States. After we arrived back at the ocean center, we did a little clean up outside (without getting blowed away by the gusty ocean wind).
Ended the night with a spaghetti dinner, followed by some pretty intense board games.
Can’t believe tomorrow is our last day!
beach  games

Tuesday in OBX

(by Jessa Hahn)

Today we spent the day at Ocracoke Island. We missed the ferry that we wanted to get on to go over to the island, so to pass time we went to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum to take up the time. The museum had artifacts and information on the history of the coast here on Hatteras.

museum  graveyard

After a storm here on the island, hundreds of bags of Doritos washed up on to shore. (I wish that would happen right now). It also had the manuscript that was transcribed when the Titanic called into the Hatteras weather station for help while it was sinking.

After the museum, we drove on to the ferry for about a 45 minute ride to the island. After the windy boat ride over, we arrived on Ocracoke. ferryWe drove to the Ocracoke lighthouse. Then we drove back into town and stopped for a few hours and went into the shops. There was a local coffee shop named the Magic Bean and they had the best smoothies!!!!!!! I got a coconut, pineapple, blueberry and lime smoothies and it was AMAZING. Most of the other shops were closed.

After we were done shopping, we started to head back back to the ferry but we made a pit stop along the way. We stopped at a beach access and spent a few hours at the beach. Today’s weather was gorgeous with clear sky’s, low 70s, and the sun was shinning all day.


After we returned from Ocracoke, we headed to dinner. Tonight we had TACOOOS because taco tuesdays still count even then you’re on an island! After dinner we all headed down to the beach to sit and relax while the sun set below the dunes. We saw dolphins jumping in the waves. It was a sight to see. After the beach we came back to the apartment and hung out and played games and watched the Office. Overall today was fun from start until finish.

Today was our day off but tomorrow we are back to work helping the Ocean Center. At the end of each day, I get excited to see what the next day will bring!!

Day 3: (Monday… and already got what we came for!)


(by Shannon VanDenEng)

After our past two days of driving, we were finally able to wake up with the sunrise on the beach in beautiful Hatteras.

We started off the morning by cleaning out a building at the Hatteras Island Ocean Center that was damaged by Hurricane Matthew last fall. Because of the storm, this building was now being torn down. I’ve been to Hatteras as a tourist before and of course had been aware of the hurricanes that were relatively regular. However, I had not realized how devasting and costly the damage could be that occurred yearly on the island. In the building we were clearing, the hardwood floors had been warped, black mold was infesting the back room, and a lot of the belongings inside had been ruined.

 working work
It was awesome being able to help out and visibly see the difference we had made already.
After a quick lunch break, we took the (freshly oiled) bikes out for a ride around the island. We stopped at some really cool historical landmarks and even saw dolphins at our stop on the beach!
Our day was topped off by an intense game of ultimate frisbee at sunset before our bonfire on the beach.
fire  nite
Although our toes were numb and very sandy, we couldn’t have asked for a better day!!

Day 2: The Adventure Continues

Today marks day two of our glorious trek to Hatteras.

The day started again as yesterday did with a grand drive down a highway. Very thrilling, to be sure. After about 3 hours, we all were able to stretch our legs and take a short hike down the Appalachian Trail! Though a little windy and chilly and only about 20 minutes long, the stop was a great opportunity to step out into nature and move around.
we drove for 6 more hours. With a quick stop at Walmart to stock up on groceries for the week, we were on the final strech to our destination. We drove a little longer and FINALLY ARRIVED!
We were able to accomplish a few tasks already today. We moved some mattresses and shifted a dumpster so the garbage trucks can move it.
All in all, it has been a successful day. Looking forward to the days to come!
quote of the day, “should I move the cat when I shower..?”
written by the great Karis Fiedler
Processed with VSCO with p5 preset DSC_5741

On Our Way!

(by Marina Garcia)

Today is our first day of spring break! We left at about 4:00am, and it has been a very long, but adventurous day. We are driving to our destination and have travelled through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and we’re at our destination for the day – West Virginia! We are so excited to be here (and halfway to North Carolina!)

Here’s what everyone is excited for:

Karis – Getting to know everyone…awe.

Shannon – Seeing the way that other people live in other parts of the United States.

Jessa – Giving back to the community.

Taylor – Working with the Hatteras Island Ocean Center.

Ashlee – The hopefulness of seeing sea turtles.

Marina – Working with this group of people.

Josh – Another day of the road trip and getting to know everyone.

Nathan – Learning more about the area we’re visiting…and driving the Suburban.

Ryan – Taking pictures of the Milky Way when we’re on the island.

Greg – See Matt’s (the director of the Ocean Center and UWO Alumni) world.

A few highlights of the include:

  • Good car ride music, switching to a hotel room that doesn’t smell like smoke, having an amazing dinner at Cracker Barrel, and exploring the river next to our hotel. Also, we were able to watch the last 12 minutes of the Badger game… Their win broke most of our brackets, but Go Badgers!

We are so excited to get to Hatteras, NC tomorrow evening. The weather is supposed to be around 50-60 degrees, but we’ll be on an island, so we can’t complain too much! 😉      



Carolina in My Mind

UW Oshkosh Students are awesome!

I’ve worked on this campus for the past 10 years, and I tell you what; just when the coolest student ever graduates and steps into their future, another amazing student steps in to take their place. In just 2 days, I get the honor of accompanying 9 students to Hatteras, North Carolina in the Outer Banks. And I know that at colleges all over the country, there are students doing the same kinds of things, but as I’ve been getting to know these 9 students in preparation for our upcoming trip, I’m again amazed at the heart, the passion, the fun and the sincerity that a group of 18-23 year olds exhibits.

This team is sweet to work with. We have 2 students that are just 2 months away from their graduation. One student is a first year student who visited the UWO campus and knew this was where she was supposed to be. Another student is a transfer that we stole fair and square from Stevens Point. We have a student that I swear is going to be the best teacher kids have ever had, a student that is on her way to being a nurse, another a social worker, a student leader that works in our Residence Life program and finally, a student who is a guru with sustainability and environmental sciences!

Each of these students has decided to spend their Spring Break traveling to North Carolina to serve a not-for-profit Ocean Center on Hatteras Island. Check this place out: In fact, a UW Oshkosh Alum is the director there, and we’re headed down to help him clean up post-hurricane season and get ready for a busy tourism schedule. (And we may just squeeze in some time to kayak, bike and paddle board too…)

We will keep you updated each step of the way, (and a picture of our team will be coming once we can all be in the same place at the same time!) and are thankful for your support!


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May 2024