Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Appalachia Service Project

 *This one goes out to all of my ASP friends.*
 It’s been mentioned before, but I tend to have an abundance of thinking time here.  Mostly my nights are spent reading, writing and  reflecting on my day, my future plans and the things that make me happy.  Guess what?  Appalachia and my memories of ASP (Appalachia Service Projects) are usually on the top of my “happy thoughts” list. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how many times a day I am reminded of my time at ASP.  Below is a list that I have compiled of the many similarities between my time in South Africa - specifically Masealama.
1.) Morning Mountain Mist.
To some, the dark foggy mornings can be a bummer, but for me it brings me back to doing early morning hardware runs. I find myself sometimes singing “And the sun comes up about 10 in the morning…” , because much like Harlan County, Masealama doesn’t see the sun on most days until about 10 am.

2.) Bulk Ordering.
The former
OpCo (Operations Coordinator) in me was so happy when it came to grocery shopping the second month I was here. In October I didn’t spend nearly as much on groceries as I did in September. Why you ask? Bulk ordering/buying. Thank you Mr. Craig Griffie.
3.) Cows and Dirt Roads. Pretty self explanatory.

4.) Bats. I feel like there are a pretty good amount of staffers that have their own bat stories. I don’t have one from ASP, but my SAfrica bat experience has been pretty epic. (In future entry)
5.) Feeding the Masses. Everyday it is my job to help distribute and feed 80 little children. This is about just as chaotic as feeding 80 hungry volunteers.

6.) Showering? Lets just say I should probably bathe more often than I do. I am pretty sure that the addition of “every staffer must take 2 showers a week” to the staff contract was because of me and my first summer on staff. Thanks to my summers on ASP staff I learned some pretty nifty ways of cleaning up.
6.) Talking to Laura Kelly. Some miraculous thing happened when I moved here. I started communicating with Laura Kelly more frequently than I have since we both slept next to each other on the science room floor of Chapmanville Middle School.
7.) Relationship Ministry. I realize the idea of accompaniment is much like how we describe ASP's ministry.  ASP is " a relationship ministry with construction on the side”.  I see my time with YAGM as an extremely similar concept - with my work in the creche and youth on side.

While there are many similarities - a few of the differences would include: no blue monster, lots of sleep and being alone instead of always having 3 other hooligans to stay up to absurd hours of the night with. I try to look past these differences and savor the similarities that bring me back to one of my favorite places with some of my favorite people!

I miss all of you and I pray that you are doing well!

Peace, love and the Porch,



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Love you bunches! The floor of the science room on the second floor in good ol' CMS! Go Tigers! :)