Sunday, July 15, 2012

The best compliments I've ever gotten -- 15-Day Challenge

Hey friends!

Well, today's is it. The last day of the 15-Day Challenge. I admit it -- I wimped out yesterday and had no excuse for not posting. Whoops. Hope you'll all forgive me.

But I did have a pretty good story to tell today. Well. Two stories. Today's prompt is to talk about the best compliment you ever received.

During my sophomore and junior years of undergrad, I spent my spring breaks on volunteer trips through Alternative Breaks. Seriously, one of the best things I've ever done.

My junior year, I went to Birmingham, Alabama to work with the Lakeshore Foundation. Such a cool place, and uh-MAY-zing people. (I met several Paralympic medalists while I was there, and worked with Bob from the documentary Murderball!) My team of seven KU students was there to help run their spring break camp, which catered to kiddos with physical disabilities or chronic illnesses/diseases, or whose siblings or parents fit into one of those categories.

Me and my team played wheelchair football one of the first nights! I'm in the front row on the right,.

Me and two of the other volunteers. Mallerie, in the middle, lives in
Alabama and is a Paralympic athlete in the track events.
Aaaaaaaaaanyway, getting to the compliment part.

On the last day of the camp, the leader of the program told my team that we had restored her faith in our generation.


It was one of those ridiculous and humbling moments when someone compliments you for doing something you should be doing, and it felt extra ridiculous (as cheesy as it sounds) because all of us got SO much more out of it than we ever expected, and probably more than the kids got out of it. We only worked with the kiddos for three days, but I guarantee each of us made a connection with at least one kid we'll never forget. Mine was Mary. :) I'd post a picture of her if, you know, it was safe and I had her parents' permission and all. 

My second story, although it also takes place on an alternative break, is way less cheesy. Promise.

My sophomore trip was to Houston to work with AIDS Foundation: Houston. Also amazing people. We helped volunteer at their AIDS Walk, which is their biggest annual fundraiser, then worked in the office a bunch figuring out all the donations and whatnot.

My team for this trip! I'm in capris and the blue jacket

One of our last nights there, though, we went out to the district in Houston with the most gay bars to hand out safe sex packets.

Quick educational moment: You can see a mint in one of the packets to the right, below. That's because you shouldn't brush your teeth before a date with someone whose HIV status you're not sure of. If you brush your teeth and they brush their teeth, there's a chance you both might create small lacerations in your gum and trade blood that way, and you could get HIV from kissing!

Now that I've scared you all into never brushing your teeth again...

That night was kind of awful. We understood immediately why they sent us to that particular area because no one would take the safe sex packets. All the men were too proud/insisted they didn't need them/claimed they never had sex, yadda yadda.

So it was kind of a rough night of wanting to do good in the world but feeling like we were having no effect.

So we get to this one last bar and are ready to call it a night.

Out on the patio are these five gay men, and they just LOVED us. I wanted to post a picture, but I don't want to accidentally out anyone on the internet.

They loved us. And I don't remember his real name, but one of the guys called himself Buster Broadway. He said it was his porn name (as in, those things that go around on the internet where you take your first pet's name and the name of the street you grew up on and that's your porn name).

Buster Broadway told me and the blonde girl pictured above that we were "So cute we could be in porn."

So there you have it. The two best compliments I've ever gotten. And really, the second one might be my favorite. :)

Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend!


Kate said...

Dude. I love that you volunteered during your breaks. That's way awesome.

And I also LOVE the second story. If I had gotten a compliment like that? I would totally say it was the best. ever.

Kaitlyn's Life and Blogs said...

Hey!! Omg. I love the Lakeshore Foundation!! I'm from Birmingham well a little town outside of Birmingham!! :)

Both of your stories are so great!! :)

Suze said...

Wow- that compliment from camp- very amazing. My dad is a paraplegic, and he is an amazing and very inspiring person. I'm sure working with kids like that was such an awesome experience. And look at you playing wheelchair sports- that is no easy feat! :)

Also hahaha to your porn compliment!

Breenah said...

Both of those stories are awesome. I'd be Sable Morningview, haha!

Shauna said...

"So cute we could be in porn."

Ahahah love it!

Amy said...

Oh the first one left me in tears!
It's so true, something that we should be doing on the regular never gets done, it sounds like such an amazing time!! Thanks for sharing.
I laughed really hard at the second one! :)

Anonymous said...

This might be my favorite blog of yours. :)


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