At 4:30am I was awoken by the loud buzzing sound of my bedside alarm clock. It felt like it was just an hour ago that I had zipped up my duffle bag and crawled into bed. Today was the day we had all been looking forward to; after months of anticipation and excitement we were ready to drive down to Beards Fork, West Virginia.
It was 6:15am and our long journey began. We did a quick head count, checked for passports and we hit the road. Shortly after an hour we arrived in Grimsby, Ontario to pick up the last team member to drive down from Canada. Olga and her lovely family greeted us with a beautiful warm breakfast and soon enough we were on the road again.
Tony asked once again, “Does everyone have their passports?.” Everybody laughed, except Olga and before we knew it, we were heading back to Grimsby to be greeted by Olga’s awesome parents holding her passport.
Soon after, we arrived at the US border and approached the custom’s booth, only to be greeted by a very irritated custom’s agent. After an intensive ten minute interrogation and what I imagine a strip search would feel like, he finally granted us passage into the USA.
As we travelled deeper into the heart of America the conversations grew louder, we poked fun at one another, and our connections grew deeper. We laughed hard and napped harder (except Olga who had 4 Venti espresso’s).
“There is something very special about taking a road trip with the people you work with everyday.”
It gives you a unique opportunity to know your friends on a deeper and more meaningful level. Learning about their challenges, hopes and dreams along with their favourite movies, songs and TV shows, helped to bring us all closer together.
As the miles continued to drift by, so did the time and before we knew it, we arrived in Beards Fork, West Virginia. We entered the communal bunkhouse and we were united with the rest of the Roma Wish Team, who had flown in from various parts of the US. After an orientation meeting, we gathered together to discuss the various projects we would be working on. We stated our goals for the mission, and our meaningful journey began!