round 3: deploy the boi

Oh hey!

This blog post is going to be a hot mess. Fair warning.

Since you’ve last heard from me, I have in the course of the last 2.5 weeks:

  • Finished up a two month term at the AmeriCorps Southwest Region campus as a Support Team Leader. I was working alongside staff and compiling Weekly Progress Reports for projects in Arkansas, Texas, New Jersey, and New York, as well as, performing logistical assistance when needed.
  • Drove to Colby, KS to get vaccinated on Easter weekend. Subsequently, died from exhaustion and then was reborn on the next day after chugging four gallons of water and consuming a full bag of pita bread. It has been two weeks and I am fully-vax gang now and can lick all the doorknobs I want. Jokes.
  • Deployed at a FEMA mega-vaccine site in Loveland, CO to support two field teams with the administering of nearly 8000 vaccinations over the course of a single week. I worked directly alongside paramedics in the medical tents to check-in patients using FEMA information systems. The site was completely outdoors and we worked 10-hour shifts through sun, wind, and rain. Lots of rain…
  • Hit the 55,000-word mark of revisions on Gallowglass for Author Mentor Match. This is close to the mid-way point of the book !!!
  • Returned to campus last Thursday after working the vaccine site to meet my new team for Round 3. Went to Rocky Mountain National Park and screamed into the mountains.
  • Organized deployment prep in 48 hours before driving my new team of eight and two vehicles 1000 miles to Houston, Texas over the course of two days. The boi has been deployed.
  • Currently writing this from my new lodging in Houston, Texas where I’ll be until June helping to rebuild 7 homes damaged in either Winter Storm Uri or still left from Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

I am tired.

But, that’s what the gig is about isn’t it?

I helped 8000 people recieve vaccines and now I’ll be getting 7 families back into their homes. Just doing whatever I can to make the spaces around me better and through that, I will slowly get back to the life I left behind two years ago. If we help each other, all of us can get back to where we left our hearts.

Edinburgh is an ancient city and these two years probably haven’t been more than a blip for it… but for me, it has been incredibly long, isolating, and at times, often quite lonely. I miss coffee shops and browsing in bookstores and standing so close to the speakers at concerts you can feel the vibrations and talking shit in pubs with my friends.

But, I’ve had to keep moving and not dwell for too long. I’ve turned my focus to where I can help. What I can do. Now. Here in the present.

Holding me through it all is how I imagine what it will be like to step off the plane in Edinburgh this September. Breathe in the cool air. Grab a coffee at Black Medicine. Go running along the crags. Move back into Roseneath.

The sigh of relief knowing that through it all, I made it back.

Alright. There’s my gross emotional sobbing for the week.

Anyway.

We start training on Monday with construction basics before starting out on site Thursday. Besides the humanitarian aspect of getting people home again, I am really excited to get practical experience before digging into theory during my masters in Architectural Conservation!

Other than that, I’m getting to know the new team and finish revisions for my book. Also, if anyone is interested… my 24th birthday is in 12 days.