Wednesday, March 30, 2011
While I Was Out Part 12: Fish Hatchery/ 20th B-day/ IMOM
So A little more than halfway through our time in Waverly we ran out of work, 'cause we were just that efficient. (That and not all the houses we were assigned to work on were cleared yet so we had to wait for that all to happen.) So we were assigned a mini project at the Rathbun Fish Hatchery of Moravia Iowa! (We didn't know where Moravia was either.) The Mission: Remove sand bags and other flood barriers from the grounds that were set up by a previous NCCC team during the flood season. My team was there for about a week but Victoria and I were only there for two days for we got pulled aside for a special Composite team to work on the Iowa Mission of Mercy. (IMOM for short.) The day Victoria and I left for IMOM was also my 20th birthday so in the couple days we were at the hatchery the team took me out for a birthday dinner. (which I didn't even know was a birthday dinner until there was an army of teenagers singing happy birthday to me and handing me cake.) I also got the whole team to watch Spirited Away on one of the nights, which they all liked! So then when Victoria, Andrea and Myself left the Hatchery for Vinton, (Andrea was going back to Vinton for some reason that I can't remember.) we got picked up by our unit leader Jimmy Kelly. The girls fell asleep in the back and left me to talk with Jimmy all by myself for the 2 hour car ride which was actually kinda cool. We talked about music, specifically the Beatles (he said his favorite album was Revolver, mine was Srgt. Pepper's, and that Harrison was my least favorite Beatle.), the state of Ohio (he was a student at Ohio state.) and other things that escapes me at the moment. That night Victoria and I also met up with the other members of the composite team Maple Miscellaneous (I totally came up with that name.) which was led by the coolest Support TL Joy Whitt (also my advisor in the NCCC Yearbook)
and included Mike Kamen and other awesome Maples that I haven't mentioned in this blog yet. We all went out with Gordo and Maple 5 who were also in town the night of my birthday, and they also sang happy birthday to me. (not as well as the teenagers but it was late.) It was the first time I did anything special for my birthday since I had turned 18 so it was pretty nice. So About IMOM. What IMOM is is an organization that helps provide free dental care to people who can not ordinarily afford it in the state of Iowa. Every year they host an event in a different part of Iowa (This year was Cedar Rapids) in which they provide this free care to anybody who walks into the stadium/convention center for the whole weekend they run the event. Our Job as NCCC members were to assist the doctors in running and operating the different stations in the registration and treatment process and helping manage the other volunteers in their responsibilities. My duty along with my volunteer henchmen and women was to keep the patients waiting for their treatments organized and dismissing them to their treatment areas when the doctors on the floor was ready to see them. It was a pretty big task, (Victoria said I had the hardest job out of all of us.) which required to me to deal with angry people yelling at me about how they waited for hours, and it was a job that required me to be a leader of volunteers, something I'm not usually comfortable with but a challenge I took on and succeeded at.
One of these angry patients had a striking resemblance to Grizzly Adams and scared the crap out of me but I kept my cool as he was yelling at me. (Then he kept yelling at me and I called for help over the radio and he sat back down.) By the end of the weekend one of my teammates, Gun, (The nick name given to Megan Beretta.) even referred to me as Red Leader over the walkie talkies (something that I had jokingly requested of my teammates at the beginning of the weekend that everyone just kinda thought was silly, and it was.) The hours for the event were long, we started at 5 in the morning and ended at 7 or 8 in the evening (at no point during the day did I see the sun or go outside), but we got to stay in a nice hotel courtesy of IMOM, had our meals provided for us, and I even got a free teeth cleaning done in the process. (I can proudly say I no longer have any remaining dental glue from my days with braces.) Over all it was a great experience.