Monday, October 14, 2013

Fun in Colorado!

At the end of last round, I was loudly and boldly proclaiming that I never wanted to stay in a hotel room again, and I think God (with his excellent sense of humor) heard my prayer. Our housing on this disaster has been, well, interesting. Initially we were staying in dorm rooms on campus which was great until they kicked us out in order to fumigate the building. I guess there was a bed bug issue... Next we moved to the Boulder County fairgrounds. We slept on cots and thought we were roughing it. My mom said, "Sam! You're so tough!" Little did we know, they were saving the best for last: an abandoned Big Box store complete with no windows, no showers, 80 other inhabitants, cots, pallets, fluorescent lights (half of which stay on at night), and a leaky roof. It is not ideal, but in typical fashion we make the most of it and have kept a sense of humor.
 3 am, I kid you not
 Raining inside
Making it homey with some pallet bookshelves/walls

On any given day there is roller-blading, skateboarding, roller derby, floor hockey, football, and softball. It is basically a giant sleepover and something I don't think I'll ever forget. Here's to the next four weeks here!

Work in Colorado!

I don't think it's any secret that I have enjoyed the beauty that is Colorado during the time I've spent here in training and transition. These darn mountains astound me every time I catch a glimpse of them!
When I found out that we would be spending our final round here in Colorado, helping survivors of the historic floods, I was thrilled. Not only would I get to spend more time here, my team would be busy working on a active disaster and all of my friends' teams were stationed here as well.

It is hard to sum up everything that has happened this round into a brief, readable blog post, but here goes:

Day one: assembling information on local response to distribute to teams working in the field
Day two: registering survivors from the town of Lyons as soon as they disembarked from their helicopter, mandatory evacuation
Days three - seven: registering people as they wait in line at a shelter for temporary passes into Lyons so they can assess their property and get as much of it out of the town as possible
Weeks two - four: canvassing neighborhoods in various affected communities in the foothills, mountains, and Denver area

The work was certainly busy and rewarding at first, but it has been slowing down significantly, so I am eager to see what they have us do next.


September brought two weeks of much needed vacation time. It was great seeing family and friends in Wisconsin and spending time with Logan in Omaha.
 We won medals in a 5K! Yes those are matching headbands
 The Omaha Zoo and Aquarium

Grilling and homemade cheese curds! Yum!
Okay, maybe this one isn't a highlight, but it was memorable. I had to get stitches after a minor bike fall. I was a little scratched and banged up for a few days...

After the break, I felt refreshed and ready to sprint towards graduation which will be taking place on November 20th. I can't believe how fast the end approaches, and I can't wait to see what's next!