Day 1: The Adventure Begins

Our trip started at 1:00AM with a bus ride to Chicago. We boarded a 7:00AM flight to Miami before heading to Honduras at 1:00. After a long day of travel, we arrived safely in Honduras with no major hiccups along the way (no luggage or travel companions were lost). Our friends from OYE picked us up at the airport and took us to a cafe called Q’Rico for a delicious and much needed lunch. We feasted on chicken, rice, fries, and salad with bagged water to wash it all down. With empty plates and full bellies, we headed to our hotel to settle in and review our plans for the week. After grabbing groceries from a local grocery store, we lounged around the hotel to refuel for a busy and fun filled week. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store!

 

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Bags are Packed!

Hello everyone! In less than 24 hours we will be leaving Oshkosh to catch our early morning flight out of O’Hare Airport! In preparation for this trip, we met as a group a week ago to discuss trip details, participate in team building exercises, and pack donation suitcases! Anticipation and excitement continue to build as everyone finishes their last minute packing! Please continue to follow this page for daily blog updates from Sam and Nicole!

pre trip meeting

Home: Safe and Sound

The Arches 2018 Alternative Spring break group has made it back to Oshkosh safe and sound! We left Denver, CO around 5am yesterday and rolled into Oshkosh around 9pm last night. After a week with limited cell service and Wi-Fi connection we all had time to relax and refresh before we head into the end of the semester. Throughout our week we had many great adventures and helped Arches National Park with two different service projects. Our first project consisting of installing connectivity modifiers will help with grassland growth and stability. We helped install just over 1,500 modifiers which was the goal of Arches NP for this year! We mainly worked in the northern part of the park in Salt Valley. On our last day of volunteering we helped with the removal of invasive Tamarisk which will help to restore the natural water flow of the Salt Wash. This is a two year long project and we where able to give a little bit of our time in order to reach the end goal. For this project we worked in the area right next to the Delicate Arch parking area. In our free time and on our last day we had time to explore the park as well as the area around Moab. Everyone in the group had a great time climbing right outside of the park, as well as hiking to many of the different arches in the park, and trying out mountain biking in this naturally beautiful area. The week flew by as we helped the park grow stronger as well as get to experience this wonderful area we are all sad that are time together had to end but all look forward to exploring this area again one day. Until next time Arches.

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LGA & TTYL

It’s 5 o’clock… somewhere. And that time is for us as we sit here in LaGaurdia airport waiting to board the plane home. Today has been an extremely bittersweet feeling as our trip comes to an end but we reflected on how much we’ve learned and the friendships we’ve created. We’ve spent these last hours doing a variety of things and even traveled to another state!

Some of us found waking up at 5 am to travel to New Jersey to visit Hoboken’s favorite and original Carlo’s Bakery was definitely worth the trip. At the store, we met Buddy’s cousin, Frank, who told us a couple different stories and gave some wise life advice about boys. Following that, we went to Kleinfeld’s Bridal Store (for those who don’t know, its the store from Say Yes to the Dress). We were slightly hesitant to walk in but glad we did it anyway, we thankfully got to meet some of the cast members from the show and see the sale floor! Walking on to our next adventure was the Chelsea High Line, we had some really nice views of the sky line and plenty apartment options for when we return, of course! Just down a couple blocks was Central Park and since we weren’t there all too long the first time we had to do some much needed exploring, so we walked aimlessly through. We found the March for Our Lives and Belvedere Castle ad began our journey back to the Harlem YMCA. Alicia and Nina stayed behind as they went for coffee, shopping at our Harlem Goodwill and visited Black Power in Print Exhibit in the Schomberg Center for Research in the Black Culture, which is where we met back up with them. Now we are about to depart from LGA and start the flight home never escaping the cold. We’ll be back soon NYC! xoxo

 

PS Aleana kicked a bird.

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Last Day at GMHC

Today was sadly our last day at GMHC. It doesn’t feel real because we have all been anticipating this trip for a long time and in the blink of an eye its over with. During our last day of of working with GMHC we got to help sort files of clients. By doing this job we are helping the employees focus on their patients rather than them having to organize paper work. After completing this task we were able to rejoin the South Carolina group we have been volunteering along side for a conversation with the CEO of GMHC. It was a Q&A with Kelsey Louie and he let us ask him any type of questions we have about being a CEO of a non-profit. Some great advice that he gave us was to always run in the faster heat, pick the job you don’t know how to do not the one that you are basically already doing and lastly, find your brightest goal you are trying to achieve in life because this will make each and every decision you make in your life and within your career that much easier.

After saying our goodbyes to all the lovely people we met at GMHC we got to spend the rest of our Friday exploring the big city. Alicia took us to the NFL Headquarters to see the building in which one of her good friends works in which was such an amazing opportunity. It’s crazy to think that the most current Super bowl is running constantly until the next one airs. Following this we were able to access Wall Street so that we could take pictures with the Bull and the fierce little girl statues. This is such an empowering monument and very popular I must say. Next some of the group was able to witness ground zero and the 9/11 museum for the first time. We took time to reflect on the citizens of New York who lost their lives due to terrorism. It was a very emotional experience for all as we took our time strolling though the museum. As our last night in the city we decide to have dinner in Times Square! Our last meal was at Olive garden and we enjoyed every last bite and then some! As a group we have stayed out pretty late the entire trip so that we were able to do some site seeing but as our last night in town we decided to go to bed early so we could wake up early in order to be the first in line for Carlos Bakery..Tomorrow should be extra sweet :)

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We are fearless girls, as represented by the statue.

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With CEO of GMHC Kelsey Louie

 

 

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