Thursday, April 16, 2009

A note to the boys, David, Dan and Sarah,
As an outsider to the Mt Saint Joe community I was unsure of what to expect when taking off on this adventure with you. After a rainy start, a blur of a bus ride, a 45 minute Burger King break, and a walk to the little village I almost had all of your names right. By day two I was watching your interactions carefully and developing my first impressions. Then on day three when the work began I had the pleasure of working directly with Colin, John, Peter, Fernando, Ryan, Jason and Dan Peddicord. Our project for the week was to tear off and replace siding on a trailer belonging to Ms Sue, a woman so involved with helping others that she had no time to help herself. After a slow start due to lack of supplies our team came together worked hard from the time we stepped off the bus, until Mr Lloyd came to pick us up at the end of our day. Throughout the week our team gained new members in Tom, JP, Matt, Brian, Bennet, and David Dutrow. By day four you were all so confident in yourselves, and dedicated to your work that our final result was more than we could have asked for.
After spending nearly a full week with you all it has been my pleasure to get to know you as individuals and groups. I have watched you all grow together as a team and witness what you are capable of when you put your mind to it. I was constantly impressed by your energy, witty comments, musical knowledge, and growing confidence. I feel that we started this trip with a group of shy high school boys, and tomorrow we will be leaving Rural Mission with a capable band of brothers... sleepy and smelly maybe, but also capable, full of heart, hard working, hard playing, intelligent, humorous, and wonderful in so many ways.
Thank you for allowing me to share this experience with you. I hope you all take a little something with you when you return to life in Baltimore. You have made a first step in reaching out to those less fortunate and you should be proud. If you ever have doubt in your abilities please remember what I said tonight about Ms Sue. When she hugged me goodbye with tears in her eyes thanking me for what we had accomplished, she was reaching out to each of you for all of the early mornings, sweat, frustration, and accomplishments of the week. Thank you all again, I will remember this experience for a very long time.

All my best,
Anne Slingluff (a.k.a Ms Slingluff #2)

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