While my stay in Santa Fe was cut short by illness, I still had the amazing opportunity to dine, hike, build, and explore the city. I also had the opportunity to have great experiences with other Berklee staff and faculty who I did not previously know. Overall, it was an enjoyable trip that I would recommend to any of my peers at the college of music.
By Abby Anastasio
When the students going on the 2017 Berklee Nashville Trip boarded the bus in Boston, none of us anticipated that our 25-hour journey would include a breakdown and subsequent pit stop at a secluded Waffle House franchise in the small town of Lexington, VA. Even more surprised than all of us were the employees at that location, who were given no warning that 120 hungry, tired college students were about to touch down and make their day interesting. Within minutes, the tiny restaurant filled with deafening chatter, one student had queued up “All Star” by Smash Mouth on the jukebox, and the hashbrowns were flying from the first order until the bus was finally fixed. As funny as it is to look back on all of us invading that Waffle House, the week in Nashville that followed was far less stressfully spontaneous. Having gone on the trip the year prior, I had a vague idea of what I was getting into, but this trip proved to be a very fresh experience in many ways.
Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity arms its volunteers with knowledge, tools, and new skills. Its crew of reliable AmeriCorps and Habitat staff is there to catch your dropped nails, give a word of encouragement when your sheetrock is crooked, and remind you to measure twice, cut once. They bring everything you need to get the job done.
I went into a week of volunteering with Gracenotes knowing that. I’ve admired Habitat for a long time, and lived in Santa Fe long enough to know that the city had a particularly good reputation for wanting to provide housing opportunity for New Mexicans who needed a fresh start. I was excited to travel back to my home in the Southwest with my new Berklee family, and reconnect with my community. I trusted that Habitat knew how to build houses. They brought us wood, and nails, and screw guns, and ladders.
With so much fresh building material, what I wasn’t expecting was the sense of history.
Hello from sunny and beautiful Santa Fe! I’m here with colleagues as part of the annual Berklee Gracenotes service trip.
Though I’ve been looking forward to this week for a while, I don’t think I was prepared for how downright expansive this journey would be. The wide open landscapes, the breadth of history culture and art of this area, the community impact through our volunteer work– it all has a far-reaching feel to it.
Matthias Lupri here writing from Santa Fe, New Mexico as team leader for the Berklee Gracenotes Habitat for Humanity trip 2017. Eight of us recently arrived via flying to Albuquerque on Monday (then a fun van drive) and looking forward to a full week of helping out. We are scheduled to assist building a home at Oshara Village for some much deserving folks through the Habitat for Humanity Santa Fe organization.
Above is completed Pueblo styled small home with Adobe wall right next door to our build site, built by Habitat for Humanity for people who cannot afford housing in Santa Fe.