For AJSS Summer of Service, a typical first day would mean everyone arrives at the airport in the afternoon, spends the evening bonding over dinner and ice breakers, and gets to bed at a decent hour so the participants are well-rested for their first day of work.
But as we always say, there is no typical day on AJSS.
This time it was mother nature who had other plans. And while the day did go as anticipated for some, many spent their first evening still in transit, and others even stayed the night in Maryland, joining HQ staff for an AJSS cookout.
But by morning, it was business as usual in Portland and Louisville. The groups began the day with a few ice breakers, chipping away at the initial awkwardness, as Max so aptly described in our previous blog post.
After breaking the ice, the groups made their way to their respective job sites, and (patiently!) sat through orientation, which served as an important lesson in both safety and humility. The orientations not only introduced participants to the work they will be doing, but also to their new communities.
Whether in Portland or Louisville, orientation marked the groups’ first step in understanding the discrepancies between the life they know at home and the struggles faced in the community in which they’re now working and living. As they explore these differences throughout the summer, participants may be confronted with challenges and uncertainties, and be encouraged to push beyond the limits of their comfort zone. But the more participants embrace these opportunities for growth, the greater the impact of their Summer of Service.
Over the course of the summer, this blog will provide more detailed and trip specific updates as the participants continue their AJSS adventure.