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  • The Young Prince and I got home last night from a mission trip to Appalachia. About half the boys in his class spent a couple of days helping out with cleanup and rebuilding at a home that was damaged in recent flooding.
  • The area we went to is an old coal-mining area. My memories of rural Russia and parts of Latin America kept jumping up as we drove around.
  • For Boo and his classmates, we may as well have been driving around on Mars.
  • Most of these kids are significantly higher on the socio-economic ladder than the folks we met, and I think they got quite a bit out of it.
    • A couple of them, on the other hand, wouldn’t know humility if it wore a “Hi, my name is: “ name tag.
  • I’ve worked with small explosives, been shot at, and been on multiple aircraft who decided to see what was going on 3,000 feet lower in about 2 seconds, and I’ve never been more nervous than the first time I watched these boys use a circular saw.
  • Day one was all new and fun. Day two was sore muscles and ‘let’s get this done!’
  • It helped that a group of girls from their grade had gone on the same trip a few weeks before, so they had a goal to get more accomplished than the ladies.
  • In 3 days, we went through all 4 seasons. It was chilly and rainy on Wednesday, warm and sunny on Thursday, and pouring down rain on Friday. The trees were even changing colors.
    • The boys seemed to roll with it, although a couple had to be reminded that they were not made of sugar and would not melt.
  • Thursday evening, we went to a bluegrass music performance. The look on these young men’s faces was comical when we walked in.
    • Apparently, mandolin and banjo were not on their list of previous experiences.
    • Over time, they got into it and a few went to the dance floor to join the crowd.
    • A few of them even danced with females.
  • The ministry we worked with provided very nice facilities for us to stay at. I had my own small room, which was worth its weight in gold because it was far enough away from the boys that I couldn’t hear them for a few minutes.
  • It only took 3 times of me asking the nice lady running the dining facility if she needed any help and being being told, nicely, no, for me to get the hint. It was then that I remembered that I was in Appalachia, not Louisville, and that was her kitchen.
    • I may be assuming a bit here, but I seemed to be more than welcome to partake of her fare, and to even make a pot of coffee using her pre-measured coffee portions, but she was emphatically in charge of cooking and cleaning.
    • I knew I was going to be working with a matriarchal system, but I forgot it was that kind of matriarchy.
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1 Comment

  1. Old NFO

     /  March 27, 2023

    Thanks to y’all for stepping up! And I’m sure the boys got an ‘education’ in more ways than one!


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