Guess where I am?
If you guessed Manchester, Kentucky, you're right!
If you also guessed in the car back home, you are also correct. I seem to write the most in the car.
Of course, I'm usually with my brothers, not with a girl hyped up on 6 donuts, three people trying to sleep, another girl punching the roof of the van, two people singing at the top of their lungs, and then a youth pastor just encouraging it all.
If you're reading this, GET ME OUT OF HERE.
Just kidding. That was the ride there. The ride back?
I don't want to speak of it. "E", who, even though he has excellent taste in music ( Dubstep, alternative rock, and Two Door Cinema Club for the win!) is currently attempting to dougie as "F" licks people's elbows and "W" and "C" sing Taylor Swift.
I SAID HEY
WHAT'S GOING ON?
So have you guys ever heard the song "What's up?" Well, our youth pastor has. Many times, seeing as he sang the chorus at the top of his lungs every. Single. Day. He also changed the words around to fit the situation. For example:
CAN YOU PLEASE
PASS ME THE SYRUP
Or this one, sung by another girl about our leader on the trip:
CAN I PLEASE
JUST PET YOUR BEARD
AND SHANE SAID
HE SAID NO
Yeah. That's not even all that's been going on this trip. There's a game we play called "What are the odds?" Basically, you give someone a dare, (for example, one that I had to do was take 5 pictures with my friend "W". It was horrific.) and then you ask them what the odds are that they would do that dare. They could go as low as 1 in 5, and as high as 1 in 1,000. Then, they count to three, and yell out at the same time a number between the odds they picked. Like if they picked 1 in 5, they had to yell out a number between 1 and 5. If it's the same number, they have to do it.
Some that we had to do was have our youth pastor take a creepy picture of te youth leader, blow it up to poster size, have him autograph it, then put it on our currently vacationing pastor's bathroom door.
Quite a welcome home present.
Or, nine weeks ago, when our youth leader was forced to start wearing an ugly goodwill vest at the worksite everyday.
And when I won against "A", a guy my age in the group, I made him sing One Direction in front of the kids at VBS. it was only two lines, but it was priceless.
And when "F" made me draw a shaving cream mustache and leave it on while cleaning up. She also made me put shaving cream on my tongue for 30 seconds. =P yuck.
Anyway, I bet you're wondering what happened on the trip besides all of this craziness. You think that was crazy? Not even close.
<insert a vlog that i took of "J" singing a made-up KFC song, along with some other craziness that I can't post because I am in it, and ugh, my face....>
What were we doing in Kentucky?
We were staying at God's closet.
Basically, since Manchester is very poor, people who need clothes can come by and pick up a certain number of items. It's really nice.
Since I doubt any of you amazing readers know anything about Manchester, I will recount to the best of my ability what the youth leader told us. If I have any facts wrong, I apologize. =P
5 years ago, Machester was one of, if not the biggest, drug abused cities in the USA. Almost everyone was on drugs, including the mayor, the chief of police, etc etc. So of course, they did nothing about it, even encouraging it.
Those people? They're in jail now. Because the churches of Manchester said, "Hey. This isn't right." They wrote petitions, campaigned, signs, approaching non-drug addict officials, and they finally got their way.
Even after all of this, however, 50% of people in Machester are still on some kind of drug. When we went around to houses asking if any of the kids wanted to come to VBS, every house and apartment had the lingering scent of cigarette smoke, mostly because if you just began to withdraw from drugs, it was be easier to slowly stop by taking cigarettes instead of crack or cocaine. A little girl who couldn't have been older than 5 came to our VBS, and when she gave me a hug, she smelled so much like smoke that I had to try not to cough. It's really sad.
But Manchester is also called the city of hope. It went from the entire government being corrupted and everyone on drugs to youth all around America driving in to help teach kids about God, build and repair houses, give away clothes, etc. and while it still has lots of problems, it is so much better than it once was.
So what did we do there?
Let me give you a run-down through our daily schedule.
6:15 : If you're on breakfast duty, this is when you start cooking. We were all divided into teams of three for breakfast and dinner prep and cleaning crew.
7:15 : Eat! We didn't just have cereal and things like that, but also homemade muffins, French toast, cinnamon rolls, and even more good stuff =)
8:15: Devotions. This week we've been learning about Elisha. I must have 5 devotion books at home, but I never really used them. But now I am. It was an interesting experience for me, seeing as I've never really done them and now have to do them every day for 45 minutes. But it was thoroughly enjoyable.
9:00: Leave for the work site. This summer, we were helping repair a man named Spencer's house. Teams of teens had been working on the extremely damaged house all summer, but we were the last team. That meant we got to see the house finished! This week, we put up siding. A LOT of siding. And I had to climb on a ladder. A very, very, very high ladder, where I then had to let go and trust the the spotters below will hold me as I lean way over and try to nail in some siding. I actually like heights. Give me a trip to the Empire State Building and I'll stand on the roof any day. But whenever I am the one deciding whether or not I fall? Such as ladders, rope courses, etc? No. Nonononononononono. This is how a lot of the ladder climbing seemed to me:
Person: hey Audrey, can you go hammer in that nail?
Me: *looks up* ...All the way up there? Butbutbutbutbut.... *realizes I haven't done anything yet* fine....
Person: I'll spot you.
*le me climbs on ladder*
*le me looks down*
Me: woah.....uh oh...you guys are so tiny down there....and I'm so high up....and this ladder isn't sturdy, and....OKAY OKAY LET ME DOWN BEFORE I FALL AND DIE
person: *rolls eyes* Audrey, you're only on the first step.
Okay, that might be a bit of exaggeration, but that's what it felt like.
The first two days it was raining, so we had to set up tarps. However, the ground was still muddy and gross. So, of course, someone was due to jump off the last rung of the ladder, and then slip down a hill covered in mud. "Mudslide", I'm looking at you. To be honest, I was SO surprised I didn't fall and die. I am such a klutz.
We also painted a little, our youth pastor installed a tiny little mailbox thing (you have no idea how proud he was of that =P) , did window trim, and just made the place look even better. We also took pick axes and broke up the dirt so we could spread seed. "E", who plays Minecraft,
said now he understood how Steve felt. =P
We were the last team, so we got to see the house dedicated just yesterday. It was so awesome! The house looked great.
12:00: lunch, where we usually played what are the odds. I got "E" to eat a cookie using a dirty fork that he found stuck in the ground as he was breaking up the dirt. He also found a shirt, thermometer, doll head, coat hanger...
12:50 : Back to work!
3:45 : Leave the worksite, where we drove to the small park where we ran the VBS and started setting up. Then, "A" and I would go with our youth leader to our van, where we would drive up to the apartments and picked kids up. Let me tell you, the 6 minute drive with kids who "want to jump out the window and flip the car over because it would be so awesome! I've done it before. Just let me do it!" is...interesting.
4:00 : We officially start VBS. We told a bible story, did a craft and a missionary story, and of course, had snacks and played games. I'm pretty sure half the kids only came because on the third day we got to throw a pie in someone face ( the kid who won the right got to throw it in the youth leader's face. He has a red beard, so she was determined to get whipped cream in it) and because we had chocolate chip cookies.
6:00 : Drop the kids off, then go back to
God's closet and start dinner.
7:15 : Dinner! We had things like tacos, spaghetti, chicken, fajitas, etc etc.
8:15 : Team time, where we would discuss how today went, how we could improve, and encouraged each other using beads. A red one for leadership, a green one for compassion, a white one for service, and a blue one for risk taking. Every night, we could give one bead to someone. I got a blue bead for risk taking (aka, climbing on that death ladder) from a chaperon and a white bead for service from my youth pastor. Each bead is accompanied with why you were giving that particular bead to that particular person, and the words my youth pastor said I will remember for a long time. =)
10:30ish :Lights out!
However, yesterday was different.
We went to a national park for devos, and to explore. Since the house was done and VBS was over, we drove an hour and a half to Gray's arch, a gorgeous rock formation. Half the time I couldn't even concentrate on devos, the view was so beautiful!
Then we went to a pizza place called Miguel's, which also doubles as a campsite.
Afterwards, we returned home to God's Closet, where we packed, had an encouragement circle (where we went around the circle and one teen and one adult said something encouraging about each of us.) and slept for about five hours on a "bed". (Only about two of us had mattresses, the rest had a box spring.)
And that brings me to where I am now. Driving into the entrance to *cough* as we blast Vampire Weekend's "A Punk" from the speakers and dance and sing along.
Life is good.
And then, of course, I get a text from my mom saying my father has written a welcome home song and plans to sing it to me in the parking lot.
Way to ruin the moment.
Okay, I'm out! Bye guys!
~Audrey (NEVER AUBREY. OR AUDABREY. OR AUBDREY. The first day, everyone called me Aubrey, now they just do it to annoy me. N and Will, when you call me it, I will kill you. Way to end this on a murderous note. )