This was absolutely incredible!
Although, when I try to explain it in conversation, many people have pointed out that this concept sounds sort of creepy. Here’s why.
You meet a group of strangers in a parking lot and get on a bus. They take you away someplace, but don’t tell you where you’re going.
I sort of understand how that could sound a bit creepy. But it’s actually really cool. It’s a legitimate group that takes you to an actual charitable event. It’s not elaborate kidnapping scheme.
Before the day, you’re given one of 5 categories. You’re either going to help with adults, children, animals, the earth, or your hands. (That hands one is for project where it’s mainly about building/making things.)
I’d never heard of this bus until I started this 52 volunteer activities project. Once I’d heard about it, I knew I had to give it a try! Mystery, adventure, new friends and overly-excitable people – this is so up my alley, [insert great metaphor and/or punchline-ish thing here – feel free to leave good ideas in the comments].
I saw February’s event fell under the category “Good Hands.” This sounded wonderful because I love working with my hands and being crafty.
So, I show up to the parking lot (which was actually at a Metro center – doesn’t get much more convenient than that!).
They actually had a little welcome mat set up with the check-in table. All the little details were in place to make us feel right at home.
Even on our name tags, they had little conversation starters set up. On the bottom of our name tags, it had a blank space for what, as kids, we dreamed of being when we grew up.
I have yet to achieve all the things I wanted as a kid. So, I didn’t get too literal with it, ’cause I didn’t want to get into a million conversations about still struggling in Hollywood (although, let’s get real, chances are everyone you meet out here is struggling to live a dream (assuming you’re not chilling with high up execs and movie stars). Otherwise, why would you live in this town, amirite?
Anyway, I put that I thought I’d be Michael Jackson’s best friend, because that was a totally true answer. However, that also got so quickly into sad conversations. Bringing up a dead legend as your icebreaker really brings down the mood of things. So, I wouldn’t recommend it. Though, when Billie Jean came on at the end of the day, a group of people did look at me and dancing ensued. So, there’s that. (Also, while everyone is sad about Michael Jackson, we did all talk about how exceptional he was. So that was sort of a nice bonding experience. But, moving on…)
Some people put cute little answers – that they thought they’d be a mermaid or a dolphin. Some people had sort of funny ones, such as thinking they’d be J. Lo. Of course there were the people in the bunch who wanted to be entertainers. (Again, why else live out here?) And while they then did set themselves up for those awkward conversations of “What have you done? What are you doing now?” etc., at least they were being super true to themselves.)
Oh goodness, a whole post and we’re not even on the bus yet. I’ll pick up here tomorrow.