*Blog originally written during the trip*
Here we are on my last ASB trip and I am completely amazed at what has taken place over these past few days. We started off at Molly Buckley’s house the night before our flight. (no rhyme intended) Then it was off to the airport to catch our flight. Little did I know that this would be the most emotional ASB trip I would ever have had here at FSU.
Then we arrived in Biloxi and the weather was absolutely beautiful. We had the rest of the day to rest and relax. It also gave me a chance to interact with the other people on my trip.
The people on this trip are all amazing in their own way. I know it sounds cheesy, but it is the god’s honest truth. Each individual here brings completely different set of strengths to the table. If I had not gone on this trip I would not have met these great people. I specifically want to highlight my good friend Stephen. This trip has reminded me what an inspiration he is to not only me, but everyone he has encountered. If you don’t like Stephen then you must be ill or have something wrong with you. He is so full of joy and happiness. He is not afraid to be himself. I have learned so much from him on these ASB trips and we have been on three trips together. I know have confidence in myself to be who I want to be because of Stephen. He truly has impacted my life and has made me the person I am today.
Now back to the trip. I have volunteered at three different locations on this trip. First I worked on the Hurricane Katrina Gardens. Here we met two wonderful women named Kim and Martha. We not only helped restore a garden, but we also got to listen to their great stories and pieces of advice they gave us. I specifically remember Martha telling us not to knock something until you try it. That advice gives me the motivation to persue my goals in life.
Day two I worked on at Pastor’s house. It needed to be renovated. Here I cleaned the house and the yard. What I remember most that day was the graveyard we visited during lunch. One of the workers on the site named Tim took us to the graveyard after our lunch. He showed the different graves of people who had died. He showed us a grave of a three year old boy that he knew. It touched me deeply. Seeing that grave made me forget every issue that I have had in my life. That poor little boy did not get a chance to live his life and my goal now is to be the best person I can no matter what it costs.
Day three we went to an oyster ranch. Here we bagged up empty oyster cells and stacked them on top of one another. It was hard work and it was not glamorous but we made a huge difference. Marty was the man in charge and he truly appreciated our help. This was a project he started by himself and he has not received much help. To see how greatly he was for our help made me smile. However the day was not over. Angel and the trip leaders had a surprise for us. She took us to New Orleans to see the finished product of the house we worked on two years ago during our ASB trip. I was completely amazed and at a loss for words. To see something that we worked so hard finished was breathe taking. To know I helped someone find a home who was victim of Katrina is a great feeling that I really do not know how to explain. Angel is one of the most thoughtful individuals I have met. She is truly an amazing individual and for her to go out of her way to see this house truly touched me. I broke down when I saw the house and for anyone who knows me I do not cry easily.
Then today was our day off. It was a nice day of rest and relaxation. There was also another surprise. The trip leaders had come up with an idea to have our family members send us letters from home. My eyes are watering as I write this because of my family. To see my mother proud of me is a great feeling. I always thought that I was her least favorite son because of all the issues and problems I have brought to my family, but after reading her letter I know that is not the case. To have my mother be proud of me is probably one of the best feelings in the world.
I just want thank Molly, Tori, and Carolyn for being the best trip leaders I have ever had. You guys worked so well together and made this trip the best one of my ASB career. You three are amazing individuals and I thank you for choosing me for this trip. I was so excited to graduate and leave FSU. That is not the case anymore. I am going to savor these last few months because of you. I love you three and you truly have made my senior year the best year of my life.
Nick Magliozzi, Class of 2013
P.S. Sorry this was so long.