Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Break

Alternative Fall Break in Monument Valley was the perfect service and cultural experience.  We left on Thursday at 1:00 and headed down to southern Utah where we spent the night at USU's extension campus in Blanding.  It wasn't a hotel, but it was fun to "rough" it in one of their campus' buildings. 
 Friday we woke up and drove the rest of our way to Monument Valley.  The drive was stunning, it was defiantly a scarce landscape but the red rock was beautiful.  When we got there we unloaded our things at Monument Valley High where we met up with Jack who told us the service that we would be doing.  Jack had us helping him with fencing and his sheep shelter.  Jack had knee surgery and wasn't able to fix a lot of the things that needed to be done at the high school.  Jack plays an important role in the Navajo community.  The sheep were getting killed by res dogs because the shelter wasn't strong enough to keep the dogs out.  As Jack explained the service projects he got a little emotional, it was a good indicator that the service that Alternative Breaks was doing was helpful and appreciated by him.

After talking to Jack our group got straight to work.  Some people in the group were confused the first day and didn't have much experience in fence building, but on Saturday everyone was basically professional at it. 
     We also helped put one of the high school's gardens to rest for the winter by picking the remaining of the vegetables   While building the sheep shelter, we became friends with a llama named Aquarius.  On Saturday everyone was excited to sheer him.
 The service projects were hard and long but the outcome was a safe fence and shelter for the sheep and a beautiful looking llama and garden.
Friday night, some of the local Navajos put on a cultural night for us.  We made fried bread and had mutton stew both were delicious.  The Navajos were laughing at our sad attempt of making fried bread.  After, Dorothy took us out to look at some hogans where she explained a lot of the Navajo traditions.  Afterwords, we went inside to make ghost bead bracelets to keep away unwanted spirits.  While we made the bracelets Navajo girls sang and danced for us.  It was adorable!  After Dorothy talked to us about a lot of the problems that the Navajo culture faces with losing their culture.  It was a good learning experience for all of group.That night we slept in the high school and played volleyball and ran around having a good time and slept in the library.

 After we did service on Saturday we went to check out the local vendor shops, and the Monument Valley park.  After we ate a a fancy Navajoes restaurant
with amazing food!  We slept in a hotel on Saturday which was a luxury that we all appreciated and then headed back to Logan.  It was an incredible experience. 

Here is what one of the participants Chloe Raphael said, 

"What I love about Alternative Breaks is learning to love the people you serve in such a short amount of time.  I can't think of any better way to spend your break than serving those who you get to know.  I love Alternative Breaks and the smiles it brings to those impacted by it."  

Sarah Woodbury said, 

"I have loved this Alternative Breaks trip.  I've always been very interested in the Native American culture, so to be able to serve them and share their stories was an amazing experience.  To be able to serve someone who could not do it himself ant see how much work could be done by our group was very rewarding.  The group of students that came are a wonderful group of people that I've enjoyed working with.  All around, I loved this trip.  I love the Navajo, the people I cam with, this beautiful monument Valley, serving, learning, and playing a bit.  Life is good.  I'm glad I came-my horizons are definitely widened.  Thank you."

Friday, October 5, 2012

2nd Meeting

Thanks for everyone who came to our second meeting this week. We had a great presentation about the Navajo culture and talked a little about what we are going to do during our time in Monument Valley. This is going to be a great trip and and it is coming up really fast!!! See you all at the next meeting!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

First meeting and committee introduction

Thanks to everyone who came to the meeting tonight! We had some fun with our delightful TP ice breaker, and we went over the basics of our fall break trip to Monument Valley! I'm super excited about our trip, which is coming up really fast.

Now I want to introduce the Alternative Breaks committee!

First up is our wonderful director...
Meckenna Drew
Junior studying Landscape Architechture (LAEP)
Something interesting about her is and I quote "I'm a girl"

Next is our VISTA person (I'm not sure exactly what to call that!)
Anna Henry
Just graduated and studied biology]
Something interesting about her is that she can juggle
Thirdly is our Participant Representative
Lauren Hillman
Junior studying Graphic Design
She is addicted to chocolate
Next is our awesome Recruitment and Publicity specialist
Jake Segura
Freshman studying Special Education
He is a as he put it "a guitar geek!"
Next up is our mildly insane Historian
Jessica Stratton (that's me)
Freshman studying Social Work
There is nothing remotely interesting about me
 And yet again... next up is our super amazing Secretary
Melissa Neve
Freshman studying Communicative Disorders
She is a Hardcore Spurs Fan!!!!
Last and certainly not least is our fantastic Fundraising Specialist
Sharon Lyman
Sophomore studying communication
She LOVES basketball and Steve Nash!

Well that's our amazing committee, we are going to have the best year ever!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hey you should apply!

Ladies and Gents,
 I am looking for committee members, I want you to apply.  That's right, you!  Okay, sorry I am ridiculous.  Anyways being on the committee is a great leadership opportunity that looks great on resumes.  I promise it will make your experience with Alternative Breaks that much better.

Application will be in the TSC 326 (Service Center) and they are due this Friday (Sept. the 7th).  Drop them off in the Service Center by 5pm in McKenna Drew's box.  If you are confused someone can help you locate that box.  Interviews will be the 10th-14th and Positions will be offered the 14th.

Applications for Fall Break are coming soon...So keep your eyes open.  If you want to get on my e-mail list please e-mail me at alt.breaks@aggiemail.usu.edu.  Thanks so much everyone, you are the coolest.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hey Welcome Back to School!

Hey Guys! I am so excited for school to be back in session.  That means Alternative Breaks can really get going on service.  Yesterday we had a great day at Day on the Quad and a lot of interest was shown.  I am excited to get in contact with everyone who wants to get involved.
Leah, McKenna, and Hilary at Day on the Quad
I am also excited for Fall Break which we will have in Monument Valley, Utah.
Isn't it way beautiful?
Applications for the trip and to be on the committee will be at the Service Center soon TSC 332.  It should be an awesome experience.  I hope to see a lot of interest.