Paint fumes & Gulf Coast – an interesting (smelly) combination

For blogging this year, we’ve decided a new approach – as blogging has been an issue to coordinate in the past, we are now going to collaborate on posts each day and bring several points of view together. Everyone is still doing their part, but now you get to see everyone’s unique experiences all in one post!

Posting today is Group 2, and that’s Meredith, Whitney, Camilo, Emily, and Keegan H. Annnnnnd go:

What were your highs and lows for the day?
Keegan: High was definitely going to the beach after all our hard work – the weather was nice and it was good to relax. Low was probably having to adjust my sleep schedule and get up at 6:45.
Camilo: My high was being on the beach and getting to relax after the day, but my low was that I woke up pretty cold – it was more chilly inside than I expected, but I got a blanket today so that should be way better tomorrow.
Emily: I really think my high was how efficiently we got our work done, and it was definitely rewarding to see the reaction of the people we were painting for. My low was probably the drive to Walmart after we left the work site – I was really exhausted and it just made the ride super long.
Meredith: My high was 100% talking to the director of the home we worked in and seeing what his role was/what social work he did. He also made it clear that we were making a big impact on their organization and that our work was important, however small it seemed. My low was how cold the ocean water was :(
Whitney: My high was also talking to the director of the home – he was super fun to get to know him and see how he impacts the PCB area. My low was probably struggling to find tasks to do as we winded down our work.

What is something you struggled with today and how did you overcome it?
Keegan: As I got tired throughout the day, my quality of work was decreasing and I was getting a little sloppy. Taking much-needed breaks every so often to sort myself out and restart helped a lot.
Camilo: I struggled with painting – I’ve never painted a home before and didn’t know how to do it, but by asking for help from more experienced members, I caught on quick!
Emily: I struggled with perfectionism – I was getting picky about the details and it took a bit of reflecting to realize that we’re not professionals and aren’t held to those standards – we’re volunteers who do what we can, and that doesn’t lessen the importance of what we do.
Meredith: Staying on task was difficult for me. I’m all over the place when it comes to work like this, and I realized I was just flying from one area to another without really committing and finishing out my work in the last before I jumped to the next. I guess I just wanted everything to be done so quick, but I had to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day and staying on track would benefit us more in the long run.
Whitney: Something I struggled with was finding tasks to do at the end of the work day – as we cleaned brushes and got the most important areas done, I was beginning to stand around awkwardly and I felt like I wasn’t doing my part. I corrected this by starting to ask if there was any small detail work I needed to do with the remaining brushes & I communicated with the team to get things finished up while still doing my part.

What is one new thing you did or learned today?
Keegan: Learning about the house we worked for was most interesting to me – I liked seeing how they work with the kids and families to facilitate progress in each and every one of their lives.
Camilo: I learned how to paint today, which is a skill I didn’t have before and I’m glad I have now.
Emily: I saw the ocean for the first time today! That was my favorite part of the day.
Meredith: I learned that everything takes patience and every little job matters. Focusing on each task is important!
Whitney: Today, I got to see behind the scenes at the house we worked at and how it compared to the services back in Iowa/Missouri – seeing how they worked with the kids was very eye-opening.