Katlin's 2007 Band Trip
Olathe KS 6/7
Welcome to my part on stringbean.com. Most of you readers have heard my name mentioned before today, but for those of you who haven’t I’m Katlin. I currently live in Olathe KS with my mom and little brother. This upcoming year will be my first year in high school! Freshman year here I come! Its hard to believe im already in high school, I still feel like a little sevie (which is our Olathe way of saying seventh grader, were so ghetto) I am one of the two 07-08 band captains which is almost like a drum major. . Our school band director is also the director for the youth orchestra. (Which is why were good but, when your captain you have to listen to a lot of school plans) I also play the Bari Sax in our jazz band and honor band. I love to play the Saxophone it’s my passion. I am actually a human though, my life doesn’t just revolve around band (but I do enjoy band above all other things….I’m a band geek) I like other things too like…..ummm just spending good quality time out doors and in Virginia with the whole family; I have a very high social life. The story behind that is I’m busy ALL of the time (mostly with band) I’m not preppy. I’m just me. Some people think im a loser for not being like everyone else…The way I see it is if your going to live, live life the way you want to, don’t live life just to fit in. I have had way to many friends try to “fit in” and just become a totally different person then whom they were to begin with.
The reason I have finally got my own part on this website is because over the next 10 days I will be traveling the mid west with my church youth orchestra. Our youth orchestra at COR (untied methodist Church Of the Resurrection) is the largest in the US today. That’s very exciting with little over 100 band/orchestra students and 10 days on the road sharing the message of god with people who don’t normally get that spiritual. In this “tour” we will be traveling to many places, such as Greensburg KS, Albuerque NM, Gallup NM, Durango CO, Salida CO , Estes Park CO , and Hays KS. We leave tomorrow morning around 5am and go to sleep that night (or should I say that morning on the bus at 1 am. I think that’s the earliest I’ve been up for a road trip ever….were all meeting at 5 and departing at 5:45 but when you live a half hour away from the church and have to stop at the bank to get spending money, AND stop for food at the local Mc Donald’s it’s going to be a long day. It should be tons of fun. All I can say is this will be a trip to remember. I will enjoy the time with my friends, doing the mission work, seeing how the homeless kids faces light up with joy as we play our music. I can’t wait to hit the road tomorrow, like I told my grandfather earlier today I think I won’t even get any sleep tonight due to the fact I’m SO excited. As we set out tomorrow morning for Greensburg KS (which a few weeks ago was hit by a deadly tornado) I can’t wait to get there and do my part by cleaning up the city and playing our music. I have seen pictures of where the church where we are playing used to stand and I was shocked but I can’t wait until I actually see it in person. I can’t wait until tomorrow! I’m REALLY excited.
Olathe KS-Greensburg KS 6/8
We left around 6:20 this morning…..a whole 35 minutes later than the original departure time. But for 75 teenagers, and rob we left at a good time, due to the fact that robs never on time. We had a “goodbye” ceremony with our theme for the trip Go Light Your World, with all singing, and candle lighting. Finally we got to Greensburg around 11:30am . When we got there we were all ready to go but I have to say I think a lot of us were nervous. We played, took a tour getting to the church site, and finally ended on the side of the road, picking up what was left of the lives of the people of Greensburg . The major emotional change that took place in Greensburg was when we were singing/playing Go Light Your World; I caught out of the corner of my eye a middle aged woman crying. At that moment the only thing that came to my mind was not the music on the page but the love and hope that was in the air. After the performance I talked to this old couple whom were in there 70’s. This couple said that after living threw the great depression and the tornado of Greensburg , they realized that you have to take life by what god gives us. That really got me thinking “If you can have your home, family, and friends taken away from you that quickly and still have your faith. It’s amazing. After spending 3 hours among the road side cleaning up the destruction of peoples homes. The way Rob put it was “were not just picking up peoples stuff were picking up peoples lives.” Which we all realized after picking up a TON of stuff, like birth certificates, report cards, and even a $4,500 payroll check. All those things (among many others) later that night FEMA the disaster food relief, asked us to stay for dinner because of all of our hard work and hope we had brought to Greensburg . Everyone on our bus was really disappointed when they told us we were going to stay for the dinner they were providing. The only thing that was on everyone’s mind was smelly, fly infested food. But in all actuality it was better than anything we could have had. Finally we all said our thank-you and goodbyes and left for our over night journey to Albuerque NM .
Day 3~ Albuquerque NM - Gallup NM
After waking up at 5:30 this morning, we had a continental breakfast and headed to the small church called the Mesa View United Methodist Church in Albuquerque. The first service was a traditional service and we had trouble staying awake. Between the first and second services, we had devotional time outside by a pond filled with ducks along with Sunday school kids from their church. During that time, a very shy young man came forward and shared a personal story about prayer. Several of our own kids came up to share personal stories that touched people nearly to tears. We then went into the church for a contemporary service that woke everyone up, causing a lot of response from the audience. After the service, the church provided a wonderful pot luck lunch for us and the congregation. After everyone was stuffed, we all jumped back on the bus and headed for the ice cave and volcano adventure. When we arrived, we all got into groups and either headed up the mountain to see the volcano, or go down to the cold ice cave (31 degrees). The ice cave was kind of disappointing but over all the whole experience was fun. After everyone was back from the hikes and getting rained on a little, many of us got sand bags and sifted through it trying to find small gems, rocks, and possibly even silver and/ or gold. Gallup, New Mexico was our next stop. We ate at the wonderful Golden Corral! When we sat down to eat, we just happened to run into a Navajo Pastor as well as some Navajo missionaries. After our meal, we helped the staff clean up. We got to our hotel and had a short devotional in the parking lot recapping the day. After a short prayer, we were all tired and were able to go to our rooms and get to bed fairly early.
Day 4 Gallup NM-Window Rock NM
Today we woke up and had breakfast at Travelodge. We then headed to the Window Rock United Methodist Church, to do service on the Indian Reservation. We finished the following projects: Sweeping, washing windows, organized books, cleaned out two very dusty sheds, washed dishes, cooked a meal, helped in a clothes closet, moved washers and dryers, trimmed trees, put new sand down, organized a pastors room, mopped, pulled weeds, filled in dirt, fixed roofs, cleaned bathrooms, fixed drainage ditches, cleaned gutters, built shelving, and several other odd jobs. We had a couple minor injuries during the day (mostly bumps and bruises from manual labor), but thanks to Renee we got everyone bandaged up and feeling better. After working for a few hours we sat down to eat lunch with the Navajos. After eating lunch we performed for their church. The bells brought up a lot of children to play with them, and we had two sing-alongs with them playing. Some of them got very attached to us. The people at the reservation were very appreciative of our work and our performance, and we had fun getting very messy cleaning up the church! Everyone was impressed with the excitement our kids tackled their tasks with, and the lack of complaints from everyone. We then ate dinner at the Golden Corral, again, and had some free time in the hotel before bed! This is a short one but im somewhat tired and all the lack of sleep is catching up with me.
Day 5 Four Corners-Durango CO
After sleeping well, we got up, had breakfast, went through the cold outside, loaded the buses, and headed to the Four Corners. A couple kids got off the bus, but most remained on because we weren’t aware of an admission charge, and we voted to spend our money elsewhere. We then headed for lunch, where as we pulled in, we had our first bus problem. A flat tire! Surprisingly, Rob was not on the bus, but it was still his fault. Luckily we were right next to a Goodyear tire store and were able to get the tire changed quickly. We ate lunch while the bus tire was changed. Bus 2 then headed off with as many kids as possible to go to Mesa Verde. When Bus 1 arrived shortly after, we headed to explore the Pueblo Indian ruins there. We headed on a 2 ½ mile hike around the beautiful Mesa Verde. It was a very interesting hike, from the hot sun, to the light rain, to the hail. It was rigorous, and we definitely got our exercise! On the hike we got to see petroglyph's, beautiful views, and we had some fun! We then headed out with both buses working, to go to dinner. We were very thankful to K-Bob’s for staying open 2 hours after closing so we could eat at 9:30 (the mountain driving took much longer than we expected). We then headed to hotel to go to sleep.
Day 6~ Durango CO-Salida KS
We woke up in Durango and got on the bus to head to the Colorado State Veterans’ Center. On the three hour bus ride to the veterans’ center, we had quiet time so that everyone could get more sleep. For those who were still awake, the scenery of driving through the mountains was magnificent. It reminded me of being back home in Virginia. The veterans at the center were very excited to have us and loved hearing our music.After the performance we all had lunch, made by Demetrios, with the residents. After lunch we loaded up the buses, we headed off into the mountains to meet a guide and visit a ghost town called St. Elmo. We were able to tour the town, do a little gift shopping, and feed chipmunks that would come up to you and eat out of your hand! After spending an hour there, we went on a hike to see a beautiful waterfall.We were all excited about are hike until we started coming down the Mt. I fell off a rock and sprained my ankle. over all it was a beautiful waterfall but this kind of put a damper on the rest of the day. After plenty of ice, raps, and pain medication, we then set out for dinner in Salida. After dinner we went two blocks down to our hotel. Our trip is half over and the loss of sleep is now catching up with us so, im going to hit the sack.
Day 7~ Salida KS-Estes Park CO
Dear parents, After waking up around 6:00am in Salida, we got on the buses and headed to River Runners to get the chance to change into uncomfortable wet suits and jump into 40º water! In 10 rafts, we all headed down the river. We had a great time in the exhilarating rapids and were able to jump out and swim through the last rapid (keeping in mind that the water was still 40º). However I opted not to get in because of my ankle. Everyone kept asking if i was even going to go...my response was that i wasn't going to let a sprained ankle keep me from having a good time. About half way down the river I fell in...it was Freezing. Once pulled back in the boat by our instructor, We looked at my ankle (which by now was KILLING me) luckily I had Renee (our nurse, Robs wife) in my boat. It was just swollen. Once back to River Runners, some had fun playing volleyball while a group of people (including Robert) entertained others by dancing and singing Jump On It in their wet suits. Its all on videos, so don't worry. Back on the bus, we headed for Estes Park. We watched a couple of movies, ate lunch, and had a devotional on the buses. Once in Estes Park, we hopped off the bus and set up to play at the outdoor stage with the adult choir in a whopping 15 minutes. After a great concert, we had barbecue for dinner. We were overjoyed when the waitresses came out with ice cream for everyone! The bus ride to the hotel was short, but fun. We had a certain counselor, Sarah Zimmerman, who forgot to move her magnet. She got to dance to Thriller, much to the amusement of everyone else on the bus. After that, we had DJs Brad York and Hayden Hager put some music over the speakers of the bus and everyone was able to sing along. This is the info mus "Rave" everyone was talking about for the rest of the trip. We got back to the hotel and had a short get together to talk about the day and do a small devotional. Tomorrow is going to be a fun day in Estes Park with a big concert tomorrow night.
Day 8~ Estes Park CO
Dear parents, Today was another great day. Everyone was able to sleep in until 8:30! We had a great breakfast and got on the busses anxious to go into town and shop for souvenirs. After shopping for about 2 hours, we all met, loaded on the buses, and went to beautiful Lake Estes for a great grilled chicken lunch, made by our phenomenal chef, Demetrios. With No cruches and NO wheelchair I made it. (it was just really slow) We rented out paddle boats, canoes, and pontoon boats. Sarah, Gwen, and, scary as it may sound, Robert, took everyone on a tour around the lake in the pontoon boats. Spending time at the lake was a great way for all of us to relax and have fun together. This was also the perfect opportunity for the student directors to ambush Robert with water balloons.
At 3:00 we loaded up the buses and went to the YMCA of the Rockies to rehearse in the amphitheater. After a fairly long rehearsal, we ate dinner and changed into our performance clothes. Our performance was spectacular. We had battery powered candles that we used during Go, Light Your World that brought many in the audience nearly to tears. It was a very spiritual time for many of us. We also enjoyed listening to the adult choir and were happy to play with them in an arrangement of America the Beautiful. The bus ride back to the hotel on bus 1 was again DJ ed by Brad York, Chris Iszory, and Hayden Hager. We had a great time singing along to some great songs. Tomorrow we decided to get up 7:45 tomorrow instead of 6:30. We are on the road all tomorrow headed for Hays, Kansas.
Day 9~ Estes Park CO-Hays KS
Today was a pretty uneventful day. We all got up at 7:45, still in beautiful Estes Park. We loaded the busses and headed for Hays, Kansas. On the way, we stopped at a rest stop to have lunch consisting of sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, and chips. All of this was organized by our wonderful chef Demetrios. During the bus ride, the leadership team got together to discuss tonight’s devotional as well as tomorrow’s chaperone recognition and fun skit. We showed up to the 1st United Methodist Church at 6:00pm to set up our instruments for tomorrow mornings performance. After a short rehearsal, we went to dinner at, o yes, another Golden Corral! We are all tired and getting fat from these places. Just Kidding. The devotions tonight included everyone being outside with a battery powered candle and sharing what they got out of the tour as well as any thanks that they wanted to give people. To make the devotionals even better, fireworks just happened to start going off behind us. It was a perfect way to end an wonderful trip. After dealing with the bad hotel situation, where in 5 of the rooms we found beer bottles, cigarettes, messed up beds, t.v.'s still on, and numerous unacceptable things, we all hit the sack. at the last super 8 we wanted to see in a long while.
Day 10~ Hays KS-Leawood KS
As we woke up this morning and left the super 8 headed for the church we were going to preform at we were not only tired but also ready to get home. The performance at the church was wonderful and exciting. especially being fathers day we had a wonderful time, but we only wished we could be home with our fathers. after being on national radio, we ate lunch and watched a fabulous skit by students and chaperone's, this skit had everyone on the floor cracking up. I think we have all walked away form this trip with something we didn't take, I know I walked away with knowing how bad off my life could get vs how it is. and I've learned to appreciate my parents and the things that I have. its good to be headed home. This is my last journal. My life goes back to its normal boring usual.
Forever and always
Pic 1: Before we left here in Kansas City. when we were singing "Go Light Your World"
Pic 2: Greensburg Kansas. Destruction from the tornato
Pic 3: The City of Greensburg Kansas.
Pic 4: All of the church orchestra and the adult missionaries from Church of the Resserection.
Pic 5: My group and I inside the Volcano pit.
Pic 6: Me chopping a tree down on the Indian Reservation.
Pic 7: On the cliff of Mesa Verde. Right after it hailed, and rained.
Pic 8: St. Elmo, and the Ghost town, the beautiful lake.
Pic 9: The small waterfall at St. Elmo
Pic 10: Lake Estes, where we ended our adventure and started for home.