It’s January 6, 2010;
I’ve returned from my two week break in Baltimore, Maryland and
   I’m back in Vinton, Iowa
Our first project flew by without a chance to record any of it
Do I regret not finding the time? Absolutely

Our next project will be mucking, gutting, and finishing construction
   on houses affected by a flood, an hour away, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
We’ll be staying here at the Iowa Braille School with one other team
Am I excited about this? No
Why? My first project has ruined my life

Randomly, throughout the day I find myself fighting back tears
I miss Sherman Lake
   See, I have to pause right here because my eyes start to flood
I’ll zone out during a meeting and my mind will drift toward thoughts
   of camp; or I’ll hear a team talk about their next project at Sherman
   Lake and I have to stop to collect myself, to breath, to convince
   myself that I’ll love this next project just as much
But I don’t think I’m really convincing;
   I’m just lying
I’ll never be able to relay the feeling I have when thinking about my first
   project and I’ll never be able to make you see or understand how
   amazing it was or how empty leaving Michigan felt; but I’ll try to, at
   least, write for you every little insignificant thing that makes
   Augusta, Michigan so significant to me
Where to begin?…

Have your cheeks ever hurting from smiling so much? 
H[onesty] C[aring] R[espect] R[esponsibility]
Sherman Lake Idol
The Underground Railroad
   “Are you a friend of a friend”
   Hiding in sticker bushes so we wouldn't get caught
Trips to Metro; the saloon slash diner slash gay bar in Kalamazoo
   Dancing to country music one second and to club music the next
Talking to an old woman at an art show for an hour
   about her stained glass
Playing never ending dodge ball
Building campfires and roasting marshmallows
Listening to “Grandpa” Paul’s campfire stories
W[ords] O[f] W[isdom] Time
Standing on the deck, overlooking the lake
Living in the pods
Looking out the pod windows to see the village of cabins
Always hearing the laughter of children and seeing them run around
The feeling of being needed
Belaying campers up the climbing wall and encouraging them
   Where’s your goal?…
   On belay? Belay is on. Climbing? Climb on…
   Dirt me!
Figuring out the tough campers
”One hopper up”
Squaring away
”A cough drop always stops a coffin”
Heather AKA ‘H’
The Laundromat
”Are you having fun at camp?”
Playing Zap and Gaga
Counselor imitations
Living in the woods
Going to the YMCA for free; and being able to walk there
Most happy I’ve ever been
Positive atmosphere
Long trek to the man village
AmeriCorps Alum from Maryland
   (Josh and Mike)
Erik’s stache
Sean’s reaction when he had to get on the bus
   He stood in front of me and stared for a while
   I knew he was about to cry, and I was on the verge
   All a sudden he starts balling and hugging me, so of course I do too
   Brit and I told him how much we loved him
   We wanted him to know he wasn’t a bad kid
      I miss him
I miss Makayla; the leader
   Always willing to do the dirty work
   Everyone did what she said
   If someone was talking when they shouldn’t
   And she told them to stop, no questions asked
   They’d stop
   Everyone listened to her, but loved her too
The perfect scenes from a Christmas card once it snowed
What you’d imagine Narnia looking like
Paul and his beard would be Aslan
Watching “Nudey Girls” every weekend
Playing Will it Float?
   “Thank you… I’m making my ship out of cement, and it will float”
High ropes course
New orange boots
Soup kitchen ISP
   Cops being called due to a fight about eating order
Cam’s hilarity
   Twilight movie reviews
   “Fuck curbs”
   Sherman Lake Idol judge
Working with the Olivet students
   Drama with Andrew and his… dancing
The campers breaking out into song on our very last day
   All 100’some of them crowding around the piano
   Singing: ‘Don’t Stop Believing’
      There isn’t a better way to end a perfect project.

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