Reflections About Fountain Club's Gulf Coast Service Trip
After van rides to Kalamazoo and a 22-hour train trip to New Orleans, we, 19 Fountain Clubbers and 4 adult advisors, arrived at the Gulf Coast to start our week-long Service and Sight-Seeing Trip. You can't spend a day in New Orleans without going to Bourbon Street. It's loud and musical, and shops of all varieties line the streets. It's bright and everyone seems to be unconditionally happy. And then it hits some of us, these people had lived through devastation and many more hardships than we can fathom, and yet here they were, laughing, living, and loving their culture to the fullest. The next morning we are off to Dulac, a small Native American community, located about two hours southwest of New Orleans. Our first day of work is moving concrete and debris from a recently demolished house. We exchange a few odd glances and set to work. Somewhere in this process the scattered complaints that were present in the beginning drift away, and give way to a steely determination no one is expected to find in a place like this. We develop a system - some using shovels, others wheelbarrows, and some even a dog digging-like technique. It's hard not to bond in a situation like that. You find yourself hauling a huge slab of concrete, and you look across to find someone you may have teased or messed with on the long journey here, and you realize...if one of us lets go, we're totally screwed. So let's just drop our differences and carry some concrete. The following days of Service included painting two houses and moving more trash. And, our trip back home was just as long as the trip down, but the familiarity that we had built made us into a different group. We want to thank FSC for the support you gave us, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Thank you for allowing Fountain Club to come closer together, to be able to help a community in need, and learn how to work together as a family - rather than a bunch of stereotypical teenagers.