Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4 and 5, 2011

Days 10 and 11

Monday and Tuesday were travel days. It was time to go home. Once we left New York City, we didn’t see much of anything noteworthy. Travel days can be long, and by this time, I was really getting tired of some of the kids on that bus. I didn’t really have any notes to take, and I didn’t want to take pictures of the same things I saw on the way here! It was nice to recognize those landmarks on the road, and realize that we were getting closer to home. I think July 4th was the day I felt homesick the most, because it was the first Independence Day I can remember that I didn’t spend with my family. And, after 11 days, it started to dawn on me that I just might be missing Joseph and Caleb. Imagine that.

I don’t think I have enough words to express the impact that this trip had on me.  For starters, it made me realize how involved I could have been in 4-H the last few years. The 2010-11 year was my last, and everything I did at CWF made me even sadder about being finished. I also learned some things that were even more important than that. The Newton County 4-H Council helped pay half of my fee for CWF, and I sent them a note to thank them for their generosity. Let me share a little bit of that note to show you what I learned:

“I don’t mean it lightly when I say that this trip has impacted my life permanently. I have gained a greater appreciation for my government and my country. It’s even piqued my interest in political things. I made some new friends and even forced myself to learn some new things that helped me grow. I learned how to deal with different personalities. I had to conquer my struggle with talking to new people, and made new friendships in the process. I discovered my new love for writing and putting my thoughts on paper. I even gained a new appreciation for my family and friends.”

And I didn’t make any of that up. I went into the trip expecting to learn something, and I definitely did that. But you can’t go on learning grand, important things forever, and I was more than ready to return to my parents and friends as a world traveler.  I think Grandfather Alden said it pretty well: “East or West, home is best.” Although, ‘East’ is mighty inviting…

We traveled through 11 states:

Missouri, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio

At Day Ten, I was getting a little more pensive…
Sometimes you think you've missed out on things your peers do, but you really haven’t missed anything worth missing. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  There's no place like home.  Mt. Hookie, instead of Mt. Dew. Let's just say, me, Kim, Sarah Young, and Dana Battles got a little giggly at 11:00 pm. The Foot!!!!! (Or maybe not so pensive.)
…and by Day Eleven, I was completely “lesson-ed” out:
Temple Grandin inspires me, and we watched her movie. Forget our regular stops: I'm ready to drop some of these people off right now!

Movies Watched Monday:

Dances with Wolves, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Meet the Robinsons, Step Up, Pursuit of Happyness.

Movies Watched Tuesday:

Finding Nemo, Temple Grandin, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Made of Honor, Napoleon Dynamite, August Rush.

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