Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: gracenotes (Page 1 of 8)

gracenotes

Passing the Hammer: Gracenotes 2017

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.

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Tent Rocks and Sheetrock: Gracenotes Santa Fe 2017

The outskirts of Santa Fe, as seen from a 15 passenger van on route 25

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.

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Gracenotes Volunteer Team – Santa Fe, New Mexico 2017

Hello

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.

 

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Building America Street

It wasn’t until the four young boys from the Habitat house next door came sprinting on to the lawn like a makeshift football team that I realized the magnitude of what my colleagues and I were doing in New Orleans as part of Berklee’s trip with Habitat for Humanity.

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Reflections on New Orleans

The devastation New Orleans went through during the hurricane in itself is hard to wrap your mind around, but going there and see with your own eyes the work that is still needed is truly heartbreaking.

Often when disasters happen around the world you have a deep sense of not being able to help out more. So to be able to volunteer and together with my awesome colleagues – people I am happy to be able to now call my friends, was such a rewarding experience.

It was very apparent that the 8 of us are very different personalities, but just as apparent that it didn’t matter, but only made it even more inspiring and interesting to work with one another. No matter the task and whom you were working with it was all about teamwork and how to best get the job done.

As I’m writing this blog I was reading through the blogs written by my new friends, and can only nod in agreement. Agreeing that you might leave a small mark of accomplishments with the work we did on the houses while there, but you carry with you a huge bag of memories and impressions that forever will be with you. Friendships that forever has being formed. Enjoyed the vibrant culture of New Orleans with all the music that thankfully still happening there.

The heat exhaustion and stomach bug I caught while there are minor issues that will quickly fade away. But the memories, the friendships, the sense of accomplishments will forever stay with me, and I’m very thankful to have been chosen to be part of this project.

It’s been a week since we had our last day at the site, working on the two houses in New Orleans, and it has been 10 years Berklee’s Gracenote program has been going to New Orleans working with Habitat for Humanity helping in the aftermath of Katrina. However our work is not done there, they still need our help and I truly hope that Berklee will continue to send faculty and staff to work with and help the people of New Orleans.

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