Wednesday, March 18, 2009

spring (news)break 09

I have been trying to think of an engaging way to recount my spring break experience, highlighting the points that stick out to me (and probably majority of the trip's participants) in a way that it does not read like a laundry list of inside jokes.

I figure I'll just start rambling and an adequate blog entry will develop itself. Better yet, I'll structure it kind of like a news story (but not really); bear with me.

The Basics
Who: a group of 20 Syracuse University undergrads; Catherine--one of my best girlfriends, 1 former freshman whom I had peer advised, 1 girl who I never really met before but is a good friend's best friend, a trio of frat boys, 1 awkward freshman whom wants to kill cops for fun, 4 sophomore girls, 2 ESFers, Becky--whom is roommates with another of my best girlfriends--Calyn, 1 really tall guy, 1 guy who is Greek but also looks Cuban to me, 2 juniors with an insatiable desire to rage, and 1 girl with a lot of questions.
What: a week-long call to service in Palm Beach, Florida, working on the Jupiter Gardens Habitat for Humanity site
When: for spring break, driving 25 hours down at 5 am on Saturday (staying over in Columbia, S.C.) and coming back Saturday (staying halfway in Concord, N.C.)
Where: Florida; working on 27-house build from 8 am to 3 pm Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; beaching every afternoon at various beaches (Juno, Jupiter); staying in cabins at JD State Park
Why: I have always wanted to volunteer, especially for H4H and I thought my time would be better spent giving back than just binge drinking on a tropical cruise; plus it would be so fun and I'd meet great people!


Catherine made it a point early on in the trip that "clothing optional" would be a well-established catch phrase by the end of our week. It spread (and caught on) like wildfire, thanks to our hardcore creeping. We initially took baby steps, suggesting our boys disrobe in our car and cabin, but then we took it to the house, asking a waiter at a bar if we could get naked to which "clothing optional" was then announced over the loud speaker. Success was ours.

"Does Paige like boys?"

Much like Catherine, I too had my own mission to accomplish during our spring break trip; I wanted someone to at some point to secretly pull me aside and inappropriately ask my sexual orientation. Catherine and I are quite close, like most best friends, but sometimes our interactions reach a sexually-confusing level (stroking, grabbing). I wanted someone to be so baffled by our loving relationship vs my obvious sexual fetish with ginger men to approach me and ask which team did I exactly bat for; that way they could get some answers and stop wasting countless hours of sleep pondering the situation.

Quote: "You may not molest the animals."

We stayed in four cabins in a state park. They weren't your typical wooden cabins; these things were nice! Air conditioned, beds, kitchen, big shower. It reminded me of a small beach house you could rent cheap. I personally loved it, with bonfires in the evening and the space to throw discs and a football. Staying in the woods does run different risks than if we were staying at a church, like some of the other trips. There were animals right outside your door! And not just little ones. I saw a raccoon, but other people saw an armadillo and even A WILD BOAR! The park pamphlet warned not to molest the animals. I'll for sure be molesting an animal if it gets anywhere near me, or attacks someone.

Quote: ::silence::

: There wasn't much silence through out the trip, between Scott and the sweet sound of power tools in the morning, but I unfortunately lost my voice for majority of the trip (about four days). Josh Shaw saw my tweet that had detailed how my voice was completely lost and he said it was probably for the benefit of everyone. Hardy har har. But honestly, it was frustrating! Roland, the site manager, got a kick out of the fact I could not speak. I would occasionally try and muster out a sentence, but I would just end up sounding like a dying man. I finally got it back (kind of) on the ride home.

Quote: "LET'S GO"

: Oh Scott, I will never forget your rallying call. Never did I know "LET'S GO" could (1.) provide intense rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul and (2.) be applicable in so many situations. Scott was a true master of the phrase and used it well, amidst cheering for our Orange in the Big East tourney and joking around/getting ready to rage.

Quote: "What did she just call me?"

: So, I really only knew Catherine before the trip, and she was the only one who truly knew me. So once I started referring to people as "booface" or "hunnybunny," mass confusion spread amongst the other habitaters. I distinctly remember at the baseball game we went to on Monday night, I called to Paul a few stadium seats behind me, "Thanks booface." He looks to Dimitri and says, "Wait, what did she just call me?" I then explained and he learned to accept it as an appropriate reference (as well as love it). This situation happened probably 15 times over the course of the break. I can say with confidence, I think some kids are going to keep "booface" in their vocabulary forever.

Quote: "I am going to put you in a graveyard."

: A rather morbid sentiment to communicate, but an actual threat to Dave's life, given by Johnathan (John, Johnny, John-o), nonetheless. Johnny brought life to our car. It might have been at a seemingly pain-strickened slow pace, but his historical references to wars and Chinese government as well as intense disdain for law enforcement officials made him a true gem. I am pretty sure he does not like me, or maybe he thinks I hate him, but Johnny, I don't. You might be a little interesting, but just know I'm just an impatient girl that appreciates a good torture technique like the best of them.

Background: I fully appreciated the entire group's love of games. Botticelli, Say Anything, Bananagrams: you name it, they wanted in. We also played the 46 things game where you choose a universal topic and everyone goes around suggesting an answer, and once 46 things have been named, you go by every couple and answers and players identify which answer trumps the other. On the way down we played "What will be the best thing we do on this trip?" [winning answer: 'blaze with dolphins'](?). On the way back, we played "What was your favorite thing about our trip?" Catherine, Scott, Dave, Hogie and Johnny made up Cabin 7, and we all agreed.

Quote: "I am going to have to pick 'cabin 7 love.'


A Million Ways To Go said...

hey paige, this is kenny from gaithersburg. we hardly know each other but i randomly saw your blog on facebook today so i clicked on it, and i really dig it! you have a lot of important things to talk about and are a great writer! take care and i'll probably see you this summer if i get out to olney for some frisbee.


Tori said...

great entry. I still have to learn bananagrams! Have a nice week!

Melanie said...

I don't think people can really appreciate how you write unless they know you and your personality. Whilst reading, I could visualize (hear?) your voice saying all this and I laughed out loud SEVERAL times. "Does Paige like boys" is probably my favorite. :) Nonetheless, this is fantastically written. I feel like I was there...Miss you, booface. ;)

Becky said...

absolutely fantastic. though one of my personal favorite quotes of the break was your often-repeated "I wanna rip your face off!" yea, I enjoyed that one thoroughly :)

Catherine said...

I keep re-reading this over and over. Josh told me yesterday, "Between your and paige's account of spring break, I just feel really uncomfortable about the whole trip."

Mission accomplished.

Also love that you have dedicated Habitat blog readers in your comment section.