Sunday, March 24, 2013

Project Week

      It's been a busy week getting back to routine, but I've finally found a moment to fill y'all in on what went down last week.
     Project Week is UWC's form of Spring Break, only instead of going home or on vacation, everyone goes on a trip focused on some sort of "project". This year there was a wilderness trip for wilderness- leaders- in- training, a group who spent the week volunteering at SXSW (a big music festival in Austin, TX), a group in California, one camping at Big Bend in TX, and another in CO at an HIV/AIDS conference. Originally, my trip was meant to travel to Alamos, Mexico for a film festival. We were going to stay with host families and get to practice our Spanish and it was going to be a ton of fun. Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to go. Within about 2 weeks we had to completely re-plan a trip that many others had been planning for months.
     As such, going into Project Week I didn't have too many expectations. I wasn't sure what exactly we were going to do and how organized the plans were. All I knew was we were driving 8 hours to Tucson. Luckily, it turned out to be a really fun week.
      Our group was pretty small, 9 students and 2 chaperones. We spent the week visiting museums, doing service projects, enjoying the warm weather (90*F... :)) by the pool and biking through the city, and getting to know the city. Tucson surprised me in that it's actually really beautiful. The city is surrounded by mountains and plenty of desert flora and fauna that was really interesting to see. Like the thousands of saguaro cacti all over the mountains. And the cute little prairie dogs scattered throughout the city.
     Project week was also a really great chance to get off campus with UWC people- I got to know my group so much better. In the evenings we spent time talking, cooking (such good food- authentic Italian, Mexican, Indian food, plus delicious sandwiches, eggs, and more) and playing games- mostly jungle speed (a card game involving pattern recognition and speed, which UWC students get really into. It's very, very competitive.)
     Over all it was a very enjoyable week. We got some sleep, got to know each other better, and got to experience a new city and culture. But it was also nice to get back to campus; everyone was happy to see each other and catch up on adventures. Each time we return to campus from a trip, I realize how much of a family we are here; it's always an incredible, happy observation, and makes both the trip and the "homecoming" that much better.

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