3/21: This was it, the first day of service! I felt excited as well
as nervous to see if I can do something positive for the family
we worked with. Today was the first day of hard, but rewarding
service, but right now I feel confident that we did major work
laying a foundation. The work will get harder as the days go by,
yet this difficulty will just make the work more fulfilling.
3/22: Our second day of service was way more productive than
the first. We laid out the entirety of the ditch and made sure it
had equal water flow throughout.
3/23: We completed our work for our first homeowner today,
finalizing the ditch by pouring gravel as well as polishing the
rest off. The only questions/doubts that we had were: would it
last and is it sustainable? When we were back at the nonprofit
I read a book called The Book of Virtues that really taught me
lessons on self discipline, a topic I really needed to read up on.
3/24: This day began our second project: the installation
of handrails across the front porch of a house as well as
on some stairs (pictured right). For many of us it was an
introduction to the field of modern carpentry and construction.
Afterward we went to a museum in nearby Oceana where we
learned the rich history of the state and how its denizens have
impacted the world.
Notes from Underground
Journal excerpts from Alternative Breaks
participant Christopher Ferreria, Revelle ’ 18.
3/25: The end of service definitely felt like a triumph, and
the journey to it was definitely a defining experience. It was
satisfying to know that we exceeded even our own expectations,
and we were relieved to know that we left with a finished
product. That night we reflected on what we learned and what
our favorite experiences were for the week. For me it was
walking down the stretch of the finished ditch—it reaffirmed
why I went on this trip and all the hard work I put into it.
Read more journal entries and thank-you letters to donors at
"It was satisfying to know that we exceeded even our own expectations, and we were relieved to know that we left with a finished product."