SBA South Carolina was the first group to arrive at their site in Manning, S.C. They landed in Charlotte, rented some vehicles and headed towards Columbia. On the way they stopped for a quick lunch in Great Falls at a local house of pizza. After arrival they quickly got settled in to rest up for a long week ahead. Today the group is excited to spend their free day taking a walking tour of historic Charleston.
SBA Detroit was the only group to have a direct flight. They used their extra time to explore the drive between Detroit and Port Huron, Mich., where they will be serving. Last night, the group enjoyed the scenic views on the beaches of the third largest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Huron, stopping to take a selfie! Today the group is headed back to Detroit for Mass and to explore the art, music, and culture that Detroit has to offer.
SBA Mississippi touched down at the Memphis Airport in the late afternoon and were met by Fr Tim Murphy who oversees Camp Friendship where they will be serving. One participant's luggage did not make the flight, so the group made a quick stop for some necessary back up supplies. Fortunately, the luggage was found and is being delivered this morning. If that's the biggest problem we face, this group is in good shape!
SBA Gulf Coast had the longest layover of any trip, spending about three hours in the Atlanta terminal. They used the opportunity to people watch, and spotted former Senator Rick Santorum. Seems like Anselmians will always find the politicians, on or off the Hilltop! The group eventually arrived in Biloxi, Mississippi, where the weather is beautiful. After being in planes and airport terminals all day, the group is excited to spend the week outdoors doing environmental cleanup and ecological restoration. They got started right away by taking pictures of the sunset over the water at their campground and new home for the next week.
SBA NYC had a busy day of connections, taking a bus to a bus to a subway train. By the end of the week, they will be masters of New York City's public transportation. There's been a lot of laughter as the group adjusts to their new surroundings on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. With so much to see and do in the Big Apple, the group was getting started early today with Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
SBA Maine had the shortest drive. They made a quick pit stop in Portland, Maine for lunch and then pushed on through to Orland. They got settled in at the Emmaus house and made a quick shopping trip for supplies. Then they settled in for baked pasta and salad prepared by three of their participants: Kelsey Leblanc, Eleni Petromelis, and Meghan Golden. On SBA Maine, everybody gets their chance to make a meal!
SBA Kentucky has a long two-day drive, but are using the time for good group bonding. They arrived at the appropriately named 'Super 8 Halfway' in Hagerstown, Maryland around 8 p.m. on Saturday. They were tired and hungry and indulged in some local fried chicken before heading to sleep. They began the day with a bilingual Mass in Hagerstown and then hit the road. Their drive takes them right along the north/south border of the country and close to many historic Civil War sites. They're currently enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery, and hoping to take in some history with their lunch!
SBA Maryland had the latest arrival after some traffic and vehicle delays. Everyone finally arrived safe and sound, but a few hours later than originally planned for. They walked into their new house to find out that one of the local nuns had stocked their fridge with breakfast supplies, and left fried chicken for them. After being tired and hungry, it was more than they could have asked for.
And last but not least, SBA Costa Rica had a long day of travel, and finally arrived at their site tired and hungry (a theme among our last three trips!). The group is staying in Los Chiles, on the Nicaraguan border, and had a several hour bus ride after their flight to San Jose. It afforded them a chance to see much of the country side. The common expression "Pura Vida" is used in many forms in Costa Rica, from a greeting, to a synonym for "excellent." Strictly translated it means, pure life, in other words…life is wonderful; enjoy it. Every one they've met has been nice and helpful, and they are looking forward to pura vida.
Tired, hungry, but with full hearts and grateful spirits, SBA 2016 is well under way! Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes, and keep following along on Twitter for constant updates and pictures.