Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sarah, Anne, Dave, and our Mount Men……….

I am so glad that I decided to join the students and staff on this mission trip. I am extremely proud of the students that took part in this adventure. Once again Mount Men show what they are made of. It was such a positive experience. I must admit I was a little apprehensive before we all arrived. I was concerned about what we would find once we were shown the projects needing repair and if we would be capable of meeting our goals. But once we arrived and settled in, there was no time for worrying.

When we left the school at 6:15 on Saturday morning I drove separately carrying tools in my truck. I did not see everyone until we arrived nine hours later. I was the first to arrive, ahead of everyone on the rental bus. Jeff, the Mission General Contractor, took me for a ride to view and plan the projects we would be working on. I had no idea we would be assigned 3 different projects. Jeff made it clear the Mission folks did not expect miracles. They just wanted help making home improvements to some of the local families and anything we accomplished would be a blessing in their eyes.

Now a week later we (16 students and 4 adults) are happy to report we completed what was asked of us. Divided into three groups we installed a new floor in an older home, new siding on a small newly constructed house and siding removal and replacement on a 30 year old mobile home. It’s amazing what we accomplished as a group.

As someone who has worked in construction and facilities related work for over 25 years I was never as impressed with past projects as I was on this Mission trip. I watched the students go from their first day asking questions about the proper way to use work tools, to confident hard working individuals by the end of the week. It was clear by signing up for this trip each of these young men took a chance in placing themselves in a different environment that called on them to remain flexible and supportive to the entire group. Each and every one of them showed an inner strength needed on a daily basis to deal with the daily challenges before them. Challenges such as working as a team player with others they may not have known that well, yet finding a way to work together quickly and efficiently to achieve their goal. They taught me a few things too. Especially how to properly use a fly swatter when defending one’s self.

Sarah, Anne, Dave – thank you for your coolness ! You made me feel so welcome and apart of the team leaders from the start. Sarah, you are so organized I want to be just like you when I grow up! Anne, you were such a great partner on our project. I leaned on you constantly, and you were there. Dave, when are we having that chess rematch? I really can play better than that last game.

And the Guys, what can I say? You listened and followed every safety direction I could give you. You worked harder than some grown men I have managed over the years. I am so proud of each and every one of you ! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for a fun and successful mission. You guys truly have a great understanding of the Xaverian charisms, Trust, Zeal, Humility and Compassion. Thank you for the hard work and support you provided to the Mission.

To the parents, thank you for allowing your son to go on this trip. You can be very proud of their individual accomplishments. I actually watched them turn from “Boys to Men” (as the MSJ expression goes) before my very eyes.

Mr. Dan Peddicord
MSJ Director of Facilities
MSJ Class of ‘72

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