Guest blog: My week with Project Ubuntu (Americorps Iowa)

From “A year in the life of Americorp,” a blog by Brandy Meador

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

with brandy

Project Ubuntu

This week we’ve had a visitor, Daniel. He’s been traveling around the country to every state plus D.C. doing a week of volunteer service in each community, his project is named “Project Ubuntu.” He has a website with more information about his travels/mission www.projectubuntu.info
It’s really inspiring to talk to someone like that who has decided to dedicate their life to service without any tangible reward. You could say I am doing the same thing now but it’s just really nice to see someone else who isn’t affiliated to any specific group just going out and trying to make the world a better place. One man at a time things will get better. He plans on writing a book at the end of his journey and I definitely plan on buying it. While he’s out in different communities working though he’s asking different questions to people about: what it takes to make America great as well as what a community is made of?  Another concept he talks about is the “us” v. “them” idea.

While I was working I was listening in on one of his interviews which was really interesting to listen to…so I just wanted to blog about some of my ideas to a few of his questions…

  • What makes America great? Although I’m super patriotic and love my country I don’t know if I can say America necessarily has anything that’s really POWERFUL and far more advanced than other countries…I think his question about communities is a lot easier to talk about but also applies on the larger scale. A community according to the biological definition would be different species living in the same area. I can appreciate this definition but if you’re thinking about the communities in America there is a definite us v. them concept amongst people. The question he asks is how can we transcend the barrier between the Us’s and Them’s.
  • Us v. Them! Obviously people separate into groups but the idea that one is less than than the other is ridiculous. It’s important to challenge the “us” group to help and work with the “them” group. His whole trip is about seeing how people across the country transcend that barrier as well as encouraging more and more people to work outside of their “group.”
  • Mobilize kindness. Mibilizing kindness is one of Daniel’s mantras – it’s about getting people out and sharing their love with other people. Love can and will break down all barriers.

I feel like this blog is a little distracted because a lot has been going on around me but I tried haha I highly recommend reading his site and keeping up with his travels it’s so inspirational.

Okay but onto the note about the work I’m doing lately –

We finished the house we were in for the past two weeks today, but only after leaving our new house early. We had to evacuate the house we were demo-ing because we found vermiculite! It was crazy, and scary. We were just taking down stuff in the porch and nobody had on a mask so it was a little concerning but I think it’s okay…it was still solid and wasn’t really in the air..unless you count us beating the hell out of some boards and possibly pulverizing it into a dust. I’m sure it’ll be fine though, just it was our second moment of panic lately.Sunday we were evacuated out of our housing to move to Hope Village. There was a leak in my room at the foot of my bed..which didn’t get worse but also didn’t improve any so the housing coordinator ordered us out. I woke up from a nap to be gone within a hour, my bags had to be packed and in the van within the hour basically…it was very hectic.  Our housing at Hope Village is pretty solid, although it did have a leak..it’s been fixed (I think). We were gonna move here anyway in a couple weeks but it was just a little sooner than expected and we’re living with the other team that’s here – which is really nice…I love my team to death but it’s nice to see other faces.

I still love the work here, although tedious at times it’s still A+. I still like Minot, cute city with fantastic people. And I am especially thankful that Daniel showed up – he’s boosting our team’s moral a lot just with his stories about philosophy and his travels.

I am really appreciating this project, I hope it continues to go well!

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