Every day is filled with learning right? The dinner table with my parents at night almost always consists of my mom asking, “What did you learn today?” She is a teacher and is naturally curious about my schooling. Meanwhile, I am an average teenage boy and not interested in long conversation with my parents about anything. Many times I shrug and say something like, “The usual.” My mind pretends to search for an actual answer, but I can never get past my teenage mind block.
I never really think about what I learn every day; I am just there. The truth is, I learn a lot. Today I was not in the classroom during the school day and I learned quite a bit. I didn’t learn school stuff such as about math or history. Instead, I learned about my community and how lucky I am. Today was Operations Day Work at Thetford Academy. I got to sleep in a little later and instead of khakis and an American Eagle shirt I got on an old hoodie and my Timberland boots. I would spend the day with some friends working around the surrounding area just like the rest of the students at TA.
While I blazed a new trail for the Upper Valley Land Trust, some classmates raked, painted, and completed all sorts of other tasks. It was a fun break from the classroom to be out in the woods. The money that we got paid would be benefiting the Livelihood Project. This would go to specifically support the village of Tandala, The Democratic Republic of the Congo. We would help supply the village with livestock to create stability and medicine for HIV/AIDS that has torn through the area. I learned that our small school of fewer than four hundred kids was putting aside our normal day and could make a huge impact on families we did not know. I realized that I was lucky to grow up in a community that has made traditions of charity.