When one enters into the unknown, he customarily has ideas or wishes of what the experience will be like. This can be good as it can cause excitement and enthusiasm. However, this can also be bad; as that person may have anticipated an experience completely unlike reality. For the first few days, the latter statement proved to be true. We were assigned to a house where the owner didn’t seem grateful or willing to help, and there was somewhat of a lack of work. After feeling inhibitions about our situation, Mike, the coordinator of Camp Coast Care, sat down to talk with us. For me, his words put a great deal of perspective on the trip. He made me realize why I came down to Mississippi. He told us that it is hard when you have a lack of work and when the client seems ungrateful. But the amount of work you do is not important- it is what is in your heart that matters. We came down here looking to help people. The natives have thanked us for coming down-not knowing what we’d done to help, or how much we’d helped. It was the fact that we cared and put that passion into action that was important.
After hearing this, my frusteration vanished, and I realized that I’m happy to help no matter who the client is, or how much work I have. Going to work today myself and my teammates had a whole new perspective on what we wanted to accomplish, and what we wanted to get out of the trip. We arrived with a new and optimistic attitude about the day. When we arrived, the boys finished insulating and dry-walled the ceiling. The girls and I cleaned the master bedroom tiles that we’d just layed, and started sanding the walls in preperation for painting. We did this only to find out after lunch that our client wanted the walls taken down. I’m not sure if that was because the dry wall looked bumpy, terrible and old, or the fact that when I hammered in nail pops earlier, I had found animal dropping that fell to the ground every time the wall felt and impact.
While all this was occuring, my team and I interacted very well with our client, and he seemed more willing to share his thoughts and stories. Then we demoed the master bedroom. This was an amazing experience. I took a crow bar in my hand, and all aggression I’d ever possessed, and tore up the wall. It was dirty, messy, poopy (literally), and powdery; but it was awesome. After cleaning up the old dry-wall, we were done for the day-feeling accomplished, having been productive and interactive with our client. What a difference a day makes. I find it ironic that once our team learned how to deal with our unanticipated situation the very day that the frustration ended. It just goes to show how important attitude is. Viewing the glass half-full definitely helped. It is also important to not let outside elements affect what you have come to do. When you don’t care about what someone thinks about you, you are free from their judgement and labeling.
I feel that we have learned so much in the past day, and I’m so grateful to have met people that can change my perspective on life so much. Others in my group have said they hope to accomplish a lot of work in the next two days or feel satasfied with their work. I on the other hand wish that I learn something new in these next few days, so that I can use the knowledge from this experience for the rest of my life.