Sunday, November 11, 2012

South Dakota, Here I Come!

Hello everyone, and Happy Veterans' Day!

Some of you may know that I have applied for another domestic extended service trip with MOVE. I had such an amazing time in Texas last year that I really wanted to go on another trip--I also love extended service because I take an entire week to devote to helping others, and focus on nothing else. These trips occur during school breaks, so it makes thema lot easier to schedule in.

Well, a few weeks ago I got the results from my application in my mailbox, and this past week we had our first set of meetings with the other MOVE groups.

Ladies and gentleman, *drumroll please...* I am going to the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota from May 18th to the 25th! WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

You guys, I am SO EXCITED for this trip. My group is going to a Lakota reservation, where we will work with the non-profit group Simply Smiles, which is "dedicated to providing bright futures for impoverished children." While applying for the trip, it was noted that this was an extremely intense and emotional one.

The Cheyenne River Reservation has seen some harsh economic times, which affect the people in tons of ways. Many people don't stay in school, and Simply Smiles tries to keep that from happening as well as work to keep building the community and improve the quality of life. While we are there, we could be working on projects that would help the community in any way possible.

This year will be different because I'll be going with a much smaller group of people and we'll be focusing on working with people directly rather than on environmental issues. It's going to be a totally different experience than I've had on my last trip, and even though I loved Texas, I'm so happy about that because it'll be something completely new. The trips won't even be comparable--that's the awesome thing about extended service trips. You never know exactly what you're getting into!

As much as I just want it to be May, I shouldn't be rushing to get to this trip. It's going to take a lot of preparation, especially mentally and emotionally. I can't wait to have meetings with my group and learn more about what the trip will be like. Our student trip leader, Jenna, a friend of mine who I actually met on my Texas trip last year, sent us some links to the Simply Smiles website and their examples of past work with the reservation:

This is just one example of the various opportunities one can have with extended service and MOVE as a whole. Other trips I applied to included an animal sanctuary in Utah, a Habitat for Humanity trip to New Orleans, and one that focuses on helping the migrant worker community in Immokalee, Florida. There are also bus trips that go to homeless shelters or school districts in need in places like Buffalo, NY, Baltimore, Connecticut and New York City.

I really love being involved with MOVE, even though I don't get to do local events as often as I wish I could...but extended service offers the perfect opportunity to make a difference while seeing a new place. I know this trip is going to require a lot of dedication, but I am more excited than ever to take it on and have a brand new experience.

I hope that whatever you do, you remain passionate about it. Here's to MOVE 2013!


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