Alumnae Global Service Initiative: The Final Day
By: Micah Woodul
Alpha Gamma, University of New Mexico
And that’s a wrap! Just like that, our global service initiative is over. It’s hard to believe all the anticipation, planning, waiting, conference calls, packing and re-packing, and now even the working, the cleaning, the raking, the planting, the mopping, the sweating, the freezing and the service have come to an end. What seemed to take forever to get here was over in a flash, but what an incredible four days it has been. Those four days being set in picturesque Shenandoah Valley in Woodstock, Virginia.
Even though we had the comfort of knowing that the “strangers” we were meeting to share in this adventure were our AXO or other affiliated Greek sisters, there was no way to know how deep the collective inner strength, love and beauty of each woman would affect the other. Through our service at Response, Inc. and our service to each other (we were responsible for warming up and readying a meal for the others), we revealed much about ourselves. We shared our talents, like green thumbs or toilet seat replacement. We revealed our shortcomings, some of us just aren’t morning people, and some don’t ever cook bacon! We learned about each other’s hopes and fears. We were vulnerable and strong at the same time. We were able to find humor in the face of adversity, like yard work in the pouring rain; and share the meaning of sisterhood, as poignantly shared by a sister who is an only child. Working side by side for the benefit of others, brought great joy and fulfillment to our group.
So, as we awoke this morning and readied ourselves to begin to get back to our other lives, we had much to ponder. We only had a few more moments with each other. One more breakfast visiting and laughing around the big table. One more time cleaning up the kitchen and exchanging information. One more time loading into cars and keeping track of each other’s schedules. Saying goodbye was difficult. Especially when considering that really we all just met a few days prior. However, it is amazing what you find within yourself and fellow volunteers on the path of service to others if you open your heart, and your mind. Because on that path, as you listen and share, as you problem solve and support, you find you have more of a connection with your AXO “sisters” or whomever you are with than you every thought possible. No act of service, however small, is ever wasted.