On the Road: Pilot Trip Day 1!

The first day on the road. Wow, what an incredible experience—the great views while driving, the amazing kids in the workshop, the excitement of our project coming to life and ofcourse, the exponential amount of detailed information needed to drive and live in an RV. Fortunately we were not left to fend completely for ourselves, and had our fearless, spunky, 70 year-old, leader: Pam. Pam, undeniably, helped advise us on everything and anything RV related—which put us all at ease. (Plus she has incredible life stories that are just too good to pass up).  

We knew that the day was going to be jam packed since we were running a workshop at the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose. I was second to get behind the wheel and all I could think was…How in the world am I going to maneuver this behemoth of a vehicle? I buckled in to the driver’s seat right before we hit the highway, and as I started to drive realized… wow, driving the RV wasn’t much different than the soccer mom van I drove at home. Whew! From there on out, I drove onwards thinking about what we were going to name our new motor home. (I’m still taking suggestions!)

The workshop at the Children’s Museum was quite different from our other prototypes because one, it was held in an open door amphitheater, and two, it was an open workshop meaning that we did not know the background of the girls in attendance. As usual the workshop was a ton of fun, and we were consistently watching for opportunities and ways to improve for our next one on Monday.

When we got back into the RV to drive to our first campsite, all of us were pretty drained (note: DRINK WATER WHEN TEACHING IN THE SUN FOR 2 HOURS) and our chatting had noticeably decreased. I took the time to look out the window in silence and reflect. I noticed that I felt very similar to when I had arrived in Poland the summer after my freshman year to teach English in a foreign village. I realized that we had so much to learn this summer, especially since we were going to have to fend for ourselves and hold ourselves accountable for creating impact and change in the lives of the middle school girls we met—which might be more intimidating than exciting at first.

When we arrived at our campsite in Santa Cruz we learned how to plug-into our campsite, use the generator, turn on the hot water etc. The rest of the night was wonderful because we had a home cooked meal from the RV, and a wonderful debrief of our workshop from earlier in the day. We also made smores, talked as friends, and shared stories with one another. During that time we very quickly learned that I love cleaning in general, Rachel loves organization, Jenna is a pro at night driving, and Katie needs to be snacking at all times. Overall, my parting words from the day: I love these girls so incredibly much and I can’t wait to see what the next three days bring us. From RVentures, to jamming to music, to brainstorming more workshop ideas—bring it on Spring Break <3

- Natalya