Monday, April 6, 2009

Alternative Spring Break West Virginia

I traveled to Summers County West Virginia with 25 other college students (9 from UNH) from across the country to Bethlehem Farm Inc. I was greeted by 7 care takers with loving hugs and welcoming faces. Bethlehem Farm is a Catholic Community in Appalachia that transforms lives through service with the local community and teaching sustainable practices. Their four cornerstones are service, prayer, simplicity, and community. I participated in all 4 cornerstones during my stay at the farm.
Service: I was able to help construct and build a deck and ramp for an elderly couple at their home. I was able to serve on home crew where my group (6 of us) stayed on the farm to prepare lunch and dinner for our friends who went to work that day. We served about 60 people dinner that night. We also cleaned the living space and did chores around the farm. I also helped plaster the walls at a homeless shelter in town.

Prayer: I was able to engage in prayer while on my trip. I had prayer time by myself and also with the group. Each day started with prayer and ended with prayer. I was able to say a prayer before two meals and was able to plan a group prayer with my team. I had a lot of time to reflect about life while I was on the farm and really think about my future and the now.

No make up allowed. If it’s yellow let it mellow if it’s brown flush it down. No dish washer. TURN OFF THE LIGHTS. Only two showers allowed: one inside and one outside. Time doesn’t exist. No clocks, watches, or cell phones.
These were a few of the ways I learned to accept simplicity. The way of living at Bethlehem Farm was shocking at first but I learned to accept and embrace it. I had so much fun being simple. It was a treat and a break from my busy and stressful life.

Words can’t describe the community at the Farm. Everyone was so genuine and did such great work that I was proud of everyone there. It was a wonderful experience to join other college students and really learn more about myself and others. In America we take so much for granted when so many life with little to nothing. I was able to appreciate what I had and I was able to learn how to relax and embrace my life.

No comments:

Post a Comment