Arizona

My spring break this year was actually exciting and I actually went somewhere! I went to Arizona, for Alternative Spring Break and it was amazing!

I flew for the first time ever in my life, so now I’ve been on three planes. I had to drive a van from Rindge to Logan Airport in Boston; that was fun. We got to the airport, I was really nervous because I was terrified something bad was going to happen. We had some difficulty with the tickets, another girl and I didn’t have a seat because the plane was over-booked. I had no idea what was going on, I just said to myself obviously I’m not going to Arizona, or not any time soon. That, plus the fact I had a complete fear of flying was not a good situation for me…BUT they asked for volunteers to stay behind and of course there was some incentive. I didn’t know they did this. So people did, and we made it on the plane to our first stop Charlotte, NC and then onto Phoenix, AZ! I bought a Duke keychain at the airport, I had to, I love Duke. I didn’t know it took five years for the plane to take off, but it does. The waiting was torture, but it was just like a roller coaster for the most part. And I had a window seat twice, and it was kind of frightening but I couldn’t look away. The view was amazing, and we definitely passed by Gillette Stadium.

Arizona was AMAZING! (I’m just going to keep saying that because it really was) We stayed in Phoenix/Goodyear at a church, and we slept on the gym floor…not as bad as you would think. On Sunday we decorated a casita at a woman’s violence shelter. The women there were so happy we came to help them, and that we came all the way from NH. We bought cleaning supplies and room décor to liven up the two rooms. It was fun because the rooms were very bland. My group and I did a spring theme. We got fake flowers and a vase, frames with inspirational pictures and sayings, a new shower curtain, table mats, candles, and a few other things to help the room look pretty. Each woman and child at the shelter are made a quilt by volunteers. I believe over 3,000 quilts have been made. It was a very nice shelter, and very unique from other shelters.

I loved seeing palm trees and cacti everywhere. It was amazing. I had not seen either before this trip. Arizona is a pretty nice state, and there is reasonably cheap living. It’s very diverse, every part of AZ is different. In Goodyear/Phoenix it’s palm trees, hotness, and cacti, and desert-like mountains. We stayed in Prescott (pronounced Prescitt, come to find out) and it was quite cooler than Goodyear. We volunteered at a food bank on the way there. They appreciated our help as well because they usually have elementary school children helping them. In Prescott we also stayed at a church, but it rooms with some couches, also not as bad as you would think. We woke up early every morning and went to bed rather early each night.

Tuesday we did Habitat for Humanity. Personally, this was my favorite service, and probably my favorite community service I’ve ever done (I’ve done a lot). I felt like I was doing something really important, and we worked really hard! We got there at 8 am and stayed until 2 pm. Some of us painted, and we dug ditches, carried wood, cleaned up, and other things. The house was basically up when we got there. Professionals volunteer to build and do everything that is needed to build a house. All of the workmen were wicked nice! We went to Jerome after. Scott Ansevin-Allen and Bill Sweet were the chaperones on the trip. They took us on an adventure up a mountain. Sometimes there were no guard rails and I panicked because it was so scary. I’m scared of heights, and very realistic situations involving heights. Let’s just say my fears were conquered on this trip. Jerome is a mile high town. We went to stores, and people kept commenting on our shirts, and we even got a discount in a store. (habitat shirts)

WEDNESDAY we went to the GRAND CANYON, best experience of my life. If I didn’t hike down it I would have regretted it. I’m so glad I did. It wasn’t bad going down, it was really easy, but the fact that there was a large fall was terrifying. I got over it some-what on the way down. But, I would not go to a rock and stand on it because it was just too scary. The way up was pretty tough. All of these people who looked quite in shape were passing us and they were panting, I just thought “Oh My God, what is happening?” Haha it was pretty intense. The air pressure was different. Our lungs hurt a lot, but we didn’t sweat and my legs didn’t hurt. It was strange but so fun at the same time. We went to see the Route 66 sign after the canyon. It was interesting…

The rest of the trip was amazing, hands down, best trip I’ve ever been on. I did a lot of things I thought I would never do. AND I got sooo tan.

Thursday we did Habitat for Humanity again. So fun! We dug a foundation and then we had to fill a ditch that we dug on Tuesday because it was not in the correct spot. I’m going to tell my dad I will help him with landscaping this summer because now I’m a pro…haha. The people at Habitat were so nice, and we even got to meet the future home owner because they are required to help with the house in order to receive it. And a misconception about habitat is that the people ACTUALLY have to pay some money for their house, it’s not free, but they do not have a mortgage so that’s good. The entire family has to volunteer hours to working on the house. These men named Marty and Tommy were basically in charge and they were really nice! We were finished before 12 that day so we left early. We went to Sonic (my first time). Then we had the decision of going hiking or staying at the church and go walk around town. I chose to go hiking. So, Scott took four other girls (Sam, Liz, Laurie, and Jess) and myself hiking. We go and come to find out the trail is closed due to vultures nesting, I don’t know why. But we go venture to Bagdad, yes Bagdad. Scott says we need gas before we go, okay Scott. I’m in the front seat I look over…we had already been driving a while, and going through areas where there was nothing but desert mind you…the gas tank looks empty to me. Haha apparently I stopped talking and got really quiet, because I was legit concerned that we were going to be stranded on the road. We weren’t and we finally found gas in Skull Valley or something of the like. Bagdad was a small town and people stared at us because they knew we were not from there. Then on our way back we saw a rattle snake! But it got killed on the road.

Friday we went to Sedona…so pretty! And we made our way to Phoenix/Goodyear where we stayed in a hotel. And that night we went to an Indians vs. Rangers Spring Training game in Goodyear. It was interesting…not a Red Sox game at all. Saturday we helped out a Goodyear neighborhood with a car wash. That was fun and they really appreciated us helping.

Such a good trip. I would definitely do it again!

Amelia Walters
Pierce Arrow Blogger

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