Today was an early morning, arriving at Hope around 8 AM. Upon our arrival, we were put to work immediately doing maintenance work around the headquarters. Some students went inside to move office furniture and work on painting the hallways of the executive wing of the building. The others stayed outside to organize equipment, move unused furniture, hall away garbage, organize and hall tires, and wash vehicles. After one job was completed, another job was waiting to be filled. In total, we worked between four to five hours. While the work was labor intensive, everyone felt fulfilled and accomplished. With the prospects of a barbeque on the horizon, we headed to Walmart to pick up some meat since the dinner was a “bring your own meat” event.
Before starting up the grill, the majority of the students wanted to get out into the wilderness and hike. The short, two mile hike to Thunderbird Falls and back was a great warm up hike for future excursions. However, the true adventure was reaching the trailhead. After asking numerous people, taking countless wrong turns and backtracking over and over, we finally found the path to a beautifully quaint waterfall.
Because of our misadventures with directions, we started the barbeque an hour and a half later than scheduled. The majority of students got brats and hot dogs while some others grabbed chicken breasts and veggie burgers. However, we struggled to get the charcoals started even with the help of the Irish students and ended up slow cooking the majority of the hotdogs and brats. Once all the meat had been cooked, the coals finally caught. Nevertheless, we still were able to us the grill to roast marshmallows. Two of the European students, one from England and one from Austria, had never experienced s’mores before. We began by teaching them the ways of marshmallow preparation and roasting techniques. While we didn’t have chocolate, we used Nutella as a substitute which worked just as well since the almost the whole bag of marshmallows was polished off.
As the sun hung in the horizon, students broke into small groups. Some chatted with the European students. Some went out for a night on the town. Others stayed in for a laughter filled game of Cards against Humanity.
Tomorrow we will be setting up for the Hope Walk and Roll fundraising event.
(C) 2014. All photos are the property of Benjamin Bogard. All rights reserved.