My Sweet Journal,
I’m currently writing this next to a giraffe. My host home is beyond amazing, and one of the many perks of staying in the Greene’s kind company is spending time with their giant stuffed animals in the hangout upstairs. I love being here so much. I love my host family and incredible roommates even more so.
Today was absolutely exhausting, but in the best way. Thanks to our new neighbor, Tropical Depression Cindy, we saw a lot of rain today. I didn’t mind though. I was having too much fun. We started off the day at The University of South Alabama. It was really cool seeing the college my grandmother taught at. I’ve always loved visiting my grandmother here in Mobile, but I’ve never truly received the chance to see the city outside of her home. This week has given me so many opportunities to experience the rich history and culture the city of Mobile has to offer, and I’ve absorbed every beautiful moment of it in full.
We got soaked on our way to Spring Hill Baptist Church after a quick bus tour of USA. We quickly dried off, however, because we immediately began rehearsing for the program. Rehearsal went all day, and I know that I for one will be very sore in the morning. Even though Fitness was a bit rough for me today, the other girls cheered my group on with thunderous applause and shouts of encouragement. I was terrified that when I got here the other girls wouldn’t be accepting or encouraging of one another. You can imagine how relieved I was to find that every girl was just as bubbly and quirky as me. I’ve never made so many friends in such a short amount of time. Maddie, Misa, Quinn, and Theo are especially wonderful. My mom told me to become close with the girls who are from Georgia’s bordering states so I could easily visit them after this summer. I ended up becoming incredibly close to the representatives from South Dakota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Maine instead. Sorry Mom.
Because of the rain (thanks Cindy) we couldn’t visit the Battleship. We adjusted accordingly, however, by moving the Western party to Spring Hill Baptist, and it all turned out quite well. I’d never line danced before tonight, and it was quite the liberating experience. I feel adequately prepared to line dance when I get to Nashville for college in the fall. I’m confident that I can now go toe to toe with the real cowboys.
On the way back home with my new family, we laughed and sang along with the radio. It was a moment that I realized I was going to miss even while I was still living it. We were bathed in the warm red light of a stoplight, and rain gently streamed down the windshields. We were smiling together, and enjoying our newfound kinship. I realized then that this program is about more than being the best person you can be, and following your passion through continued education. It’s about experiencing new things, making new connections, and celebrating life with loving and kind people. I can really understand now why my mom loved this program so much when she participated.
I can already tell that these two weeks will hold a special place in my heart forever, and I can’t wait to see how much I will grow because of them. They call us “distinguished,” but it’s not just because of our hard work and accomplishments. It’s because the program itself has shaped us into becoming the distinguished young women we are today. I will always be thankful for that, and I can’t wait for new adventures in the coming days.
A happily exhausted GA DYW and her trusty Giraffe sidekick