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Archive for the ‘Weekly Journals’ Category

Week 10

These are the journals compiled for the final week of service at Bryan Park, August 3 – August 7.

This summer was fun, challenging and long. Even though I didn’t like to work I did it anyways. I’ll miss everyone bunches! This final weekwas fairly easy and memorable.

Parrish Brasher, WIA Summer Youth

I have alrite summer even though it was hard, but I like the people I worked with. I enjoyed “killing that bear”* but it was bad times when I caught red bugs. It awas a great summer and I wouldn’t change it.

D’Marcus Griffin, WIA Summer Youth

Service is the gateway to success.

Fabrice Tchouba, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

*”Kill the Bear” refers to a motivational expression used often during a rough workday in the park. To kill the bear is to meet every challenge head-on and to keep working until the task is complete.

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Week 8

Journal entries compiled from the volunteers for week 8 of the summer program, July 20 – 24.

When I began this job, I was ready to leave on account of “late pay.” Now there is only one week left before my term ends, and I don’t want it to end. I am just now beginning to get to know my fellow co-workers, and when this ends I may never see them again. Though one thing is for certain, this experience will forever hold a place in my mind & in my development as an adult.

Eric Gill, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

I like my job a little bit because it has been easier since when I first got here. I like the people I work with even I wish my friend Eddy was still out here.

D’Marcus Griffin, WIA Summer Youth

We chipped wood and helped clean up around the pavilion and put picnic tables out. We put wood chips out and around the picnic areas and fixed the dock.

Kyle Hicks, WIA Summer Youth

Week 8 we chopped up the different wood piles. And then I finished painting the trailer. But we just have ta few weeks left working here. I am going to miss everyone here. But just believe in God.

Leigh-Anne Hopper, WIA Summer Youth

More coming soon…

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Week 6

Journal entries from the volunteers compiled for week 6, June 29th through July 11th.

Work is getting better. I only have a month left on my contract. It is still hot but the work is getting more laid-back, and we are getting things done.

Eric Gill, AmeriCorps*VISTA

Work is getting much better. I’m starting to like it a little bit but it is very hot. Everyone is working hard. I like the people I work with.

D’Marcus, WIA Summer Youth

Week 6 was pretty good. It was not as hot as it has been being. But I just wish that everyone would work and really stop trying to get out of work. Most people do work but not everyone. If everyone would work and stop doing nothing we would get stuff done faster. But the park is looking a lot better. I love it. Well, God bless you 🙂

Leigh-Anne Hopper, WIA Summer Youth

It was a good week all together. We all worked together and got done with all of our work goals, and I can’t believe it’s the 7th week of work next week.

Kyle Hicks, WIA Summer Youth

My work is starting to be alright thanks!

Eddie Miller, WIA Summer Youth

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Week #5

The following journal entries are for Week 5, June 29th – July 3rd.

This week was alright I guess. Nothing was too hard this week at all.

Parrish Brasher, WIA Summer Youth

I’m starting to like work just a little bit except when I saeen that bear. I’m starting to learn how to work hard.

D’Marcus Griffin, WIA Summer Youth

Leigh-Anne and; Kyle moving picnic tables to another area of the park.

Leigh-Anne and Kyle moving picnic tables to another area of the park.

The 5th week it has been long. But it was better than the other weeks. It could be better if people would get out their butt and work. And stop trying to get out of work. I am starting to warm up to everyone here and have a good time. But everything is better in Gods eye just believe in him. 🙂

Leigh-Anne Hopper, WIA Summer Youth

I must say that I’m really starting to become comfortable at work and I just want everybody to pull their weight like I pull mine.

Eddie Miller, WIA Summer Youth

More entries coming soon…

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Week 4

Compiled Journals for Week 4, June 22 – 26.
(it should be noted that after these journals were evaluated, changes were made to the schedule to make the workday more fun and less tiresome/stressful for the youth volunteers)

Today was not as bad as I expected it to be. It was not very hot. It rained a little bit so it cooled off for a little while also.

Parrish Brasher, WIA Summer Youth

[expletive] this job. I want my paycheck. I have been working here for a month and I still haven’t gotten paid. I am close to quitting. I just thought I was beginning to enjoy myself, and I’m wondering why I still come to work each day. I feel I could be working at a fast food place, making more money and [being] happier. I can’t pay the bills and get my life to a point where I can be independent working here.

Eric Gill, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

I don’t like the job because it is hot and the work we do is hard. We are getting ate up by red bugs. The only thing I like is we get paid for it.

D’Marcus Griffin, WIA Summer Youth

We sunk a boat in the pond for a fish habitat and cleared the back fence for making a new trail and the cut limbs that were 8ft in the main trail. We have started clearing the top part of the front of the park, and we cleared up the brush by the main entrance of the park road and around the parking area.

Kyle Hicks, WIA Summer Youth

This is the 4th week it has been a long week. Because, everyone was here the first day and come the second day Kyle left and then at the end of the day everyone was leaving. So the only people that have really finished this week out was me, Damien and Eric. I really think that this was the hardest week ever. I just wish people could come to work and get this over with. Not sit at home and do nothing and still get paid. That is not right but it is what’s going to happen and I can’t do nothing about it. But just believe in the Lord and everything will work out. God bless you!

Leigh-Anne Hopper, WIA Summer Youth

The work we do is going un-appreciated. We were working really hard for the past month and when we are trying / starting to burn out people talk bad about it. We are TIRED(!) of working out in this heat. We need a break. This is not my career choice and it’s a job where I come and go then I forget about it. We all are on the verge of quitting.

Damien Reynolds, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

Hi, I am Eddie and I just want to let you know that this park is really a headache because it’s hot and hard but maybe if I get use to it I will be alright. And so please stop putting us in the Heat!!

Eddie Miller, WIA Youth Summer

After a 20 hour drive from new york to Louisiana, Shelby and Bill showed me great Southern Hospitality with a home cooked meal and comfortable bed. Once I was introduced to all the Vista and WIA workers, I got the sense that Bryan Park was a project with a heart. The project involves higher ups such as the Mayor to local highschool students, who are all collaborating to build a nature reserve to better the community. I really enjoy and appreciate the strong sense of community here in Downsville, Louisiana and I’m excited to be apart of it!

Ali Schmierer, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

This week, the heat in this part of Louisiana was over 90 degrees all week, with a heat index of 105 degrees some days. While all the youth on this project are volunteers, per se, they still receive a living wage to handle basic finances. However, as of the past week or so, just when the massive heat wave was hitting, many of the paychecks were lost in the mail and/or sent to the wrong place.

So a combination of heat, exhaustion and slow bureaucracy has everyone incredibly stressed out. Volunteering and dedicating a summer to a greater cause – ie, developing a park – isn’t always raindrops and roses. It’s hard work, and it’s physically, emotionally and mentally demanding.

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Journals below were written at the end of Week 3 on the project, June 15-19.

This week was very challenging to me. Not only mentally, but also physically. It was excruciatingly hot. I painted a barrel that Mrs. Shelby was not satisfied with it.

Parrish Brasher, WIA Summer Youth

It’s odd, the twists and turns that life throws our way. For instance, I never thought that I would be willing to give up my time (considered a “volunteer”) for something larger than myself. I have always been selfish with my time, but the more time I spend in the park the more I seem to be enjoying myself. I have learned skill and trades I never thought I would be capable of. To be an accomplice in the sinking of an old sail boat and to operate a chain saw makes me look forward to the other skills I could learn.

Eric Gill, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

🙂 It has been really hot this week. We have cleaned more of the park and we have painted some recycle stuff for the park. But I do like that I know more and more about the park and people. Like some people say “Oh for real” but I do love everyone they are funny. Just remember that if you believe in the God above everything will be better. So God bless everyone 🙂

Leigh-Anne Hopper, WIA Summer Youth

Damien hacking away at brush for the new equestrian trail in the park.

Damien clearing brush for the new equestrian trail.

The heat and sun are not enjoyable. Too many tasks and jobs are being assigned and not a lot of them are getting done, they seem to just be floating in the air and picked out when we all feel like doing it. I really want to get my next paycheck so I will be able to live for the next few weeks. Chigger/Red bugs are not fun either.

Damien Reynolds, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

Serving as an IT administrator [and project accountant] while being a VISTA volunteer is amazing.

Fabrice Tchouba, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

More entries will be added soon…

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Below are the accumulating journal entries from Week 2, June 8th through June 12th.

Trail Spec Training

This week has been very long. it hasn’t been very hard, but it has been long. The OWL Center was a very fun experience. Going to the State Park was also very exciting.

Parrish Brasher, WIA Youth

For the week of 6-8-09 — 6-13-09 we are doing training for being out in [the] woods. Monday we were out at the OWL center facing challenging obstacles that tested our minds and bodies. The obstacles were used to build confidence and learn teamwork. 

Tuesday we walked trailed at D’Arbonne State Park. We got some good idea about things to cover and change for the Bryan Park.

Wed., Thurs., and Friday I continued to clear brush to form trails. Overall the project is moving faster and faster as the day goes from passive to full speed ahead. We venture into the wild and claim this land in the name of D’ville.

Eric Gill, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

Jeff Bryan, Parrish Brasher, Leigh-Anne Hopper, Eric Gill, Fabrice Tchouba, Damien Reynolds, Jennifer Reed, Kyle Hicks

Teepee Shuffle at the OWL Center, where we moved across this narrow log and built trust.


 

My 2nd week . . . it has been long and hard. I have been going on very little sleep, but it is not too bad. I have started learning more about everyone here and that’s really good because I love knowing more about everyone and everything. I hope that next week will be better. But the only way that it will be better is if you ask God. So God bless you! 🙂 

Leigh-Anne Hopper, WIA Youth

 

Poison ivy sucks, period.

Damien Reynolds, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

Team building is an entity of greatness.

Fabrice Tchouba, AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer

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