(Posted October 5, 2010)
had a great time this weekend in hood river, oregon.. a friend of my housemate miles has a home there and was gracious enough to let us stay the weekend. we had a great view of surrounding mountains and had a fabulous time exploring the natural beauty of the town and the areas nearby. we ventured up to a hiking trail on saturday and got sidetracked when we stumbled upon an open field.. we ended up playing a great game of touch football in the sun for about an hour. i’ve been out of practice and certainly would not make the cut for the leuven lions, my brother’s football team he is currently playing for in belgium.. perhaps with practice.. we continued on through the day visiting some great antique shops (where i purchased canvasses for a dollar!) and i stumbled upon some great old family photos in a shoebox from the 1930s and 1950s. amazing to see how styles change and made me wonder where all of the photos had come from. christie, elena and i enjoyed some snacks when we got home that the boys made; homemade hummus and salsa with tomatoes from the homeplate garden! we enjoyed a nice relaxing afternoon followed by a “girls night” at the hopsfest that we stumbled upon in hood river. had some fantastic local beers and really enjoyed the vibe of the crowd there.. lots of flannel, facial hair and laughter. no solo cups there.. we received plastic mugs to have our beer samples in. sunday was another great day as we ventured to lost lake, a part of the mt. hood national forest and did a nice walk around the gorgeous lake. we shared one of our spirituality sessions on the dock making music with found objects.. i played an old peanut butter jar filled with pebbles. suffice it to say, i’ll be touring internationally soon enough… a great weekend away was topped off by my first night volunteering with st. matthew’s (the local parish in hillsboro) youth ministry. i flashed back to my nights spent with youth ministry in high school and really enjoyed being a young adult helping out and getting to know the kids, many of whom i met in my SOLV green team classrooms!
last week was a VERY busy week of watershed presentations and i finished up all six schools, quite a relief! i really came to be comfortable with the presentation and many of the kids are quite engaged and knowledgeable about native and invasive plants in their communities.
thursday night was the SOLV volunteer appreciation event and though it was at the end of a very long day after being out in the field planting willow stakes with SEVEN high school science classes and meant a trek into portland, we had a great time meeting all of the key volunteers that make SOLV events really happen and sustain themselves.
the week was finished off with our presentation to an elementary school “eco-club” composed of first through sixth graders interested in the environment. really looking forward to working with them and partnering with a local high school to work with them as well.
had another great day today being out with several students from a local high school/middle school who are in transition. we removed blackberry and the kids were such hard workers and asking great questions, it was easy to tell these kids could work hard in the right environment. just finished out the day with doing some door to door recruiting for a community tree planting event in the st. john’s section of portland; what a great community of activists, artists and human rights advocates! really reminds me of the bigger picture and know that i’m in the right place!