Volunteering in Texas

Good Morning! We’d like to start this post by letting ya’ll know why we decided to not post on here or on social media for the last couple of weeks! We knew we were going to be working when we we’re in Texas and knew that we would be really tired. We didn’t want to post subpar content for you! Also, we really just wanted to be able to be in the moment while we were there, we wanted to really, really enjoy it! And enjoy it we did! Last thing: this isn’t a sponsored post, we just really, really loved All Hands and Hearts and wanted to share it with you all!

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We hope you haven’t forgotten about us in the past month that we’ve been gone! We haven’t even logged into any of our social media accounts since Christmas. As we mentioned in our Post: Thoughts on 2017, we were in Texas for two weeks-volunteering with All Hands and Hearts. They are an amazing organization! They bring together volunteers to help communities clean up and get back on their feet after natural disasters. We were in Aransas Pass, Texas helping the people there clean up after Hurricane Harvey came through. While it’s been a couple of months since Harvey ripped through the area, there is still so much work to be done. There were many homes that still had debris that needed picked up and some homes that had been torn down. All of the homeowners were extremely generous and kind. It was great to just chat with them, either while they worked with us or while we too a water break. It was amazing to hear about their lives or to hear how the storm affected them. Lots of homeowners made us coffee, some baked us cookies, on a cold day one homeowner even built us a fire to stay warm, and another homeowner even bought McDonald’s for breakfast for the volunteers working on her house that day. Even though these people lost almost everything (and in some cases, literally everything) they owned, they were so generous and grateful that we wanted to help, some even felt bad for needing to ask for it,  and they were still willing to give. They wanted to show their gratitude in any way they could.

Not only did we work really hard everyday, we met some of the most amazing people.  The homeowners were great, and the other volunteers were all amazing. We met people from all over the world and from all walks of life and every one of them just wanted to help. They were some of the most kind, fun, and genuinely nice people we’d ever met!

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We worked so hard while we were there, but on our days off we also had so much fun! We had a bonfire by the beach for New Years Eve, saw The Greatest Showman (which is an awesome movie, by the way!), went to Padres Island, and took a mini road trip to San Antonio. Of course when you’re in Texas you have to eat Mexican food, so we ate Mexican food for almost every meal we had to buy! And everything down in Texas comes with Avocado- for FREE! Yes, it doesn’t even cost extra, that was honestly one of the best parts. The best tacos we’ve ever eaten came from a little mom and pop Mexican restaurant (that we don’t even remember the name of-oops) that we ate at on our last day of work. It was only a couple blocks away and we could smell the food from our worksite, so we drove over, picked up some food, and ate it in the back of the truck. It was amazing! And we couldn’t have asked for better company on our last work day.

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On our last day off, we rented a car and drove to San Antonio to visit the River Walk (which is pretty much where all these pictures came from!) and the Alamo. Before we get too far into this, we’d like to point out that the highways in Texas are really confusing and nothing is marked, so the idea of us trying to find our way around was about to be an adventure all on its own… We’re quite proud to say that we only got lost twice: once when it was dark we accidentally got off the highway (in our defense it was dark and there aren’t any street lights…) and the other time was in broad daylight, in a Walmart parking lot… Ya, we aren’t too proud of that one, but it was a pretty confusing parking lot if we do say so ourselves! It’s honestly a miracle that we somehow took the right turns, Siri pretty much owned our souls this day, otherwise we’d probably still be in the Texas country trying to find our way 😉

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The first thing up when we got to San Antonio was not the Alamo, the River Walk, or food: it was the bathroom. Which we promptly spent 20 minutes looking for (because apparently no one has a public restroom here, haha!). We finally just had to stop in the mall, spend 10 more minutes looking, before asking for help and realizing we were on the wrong floor. Once we finally made it to the Riverwalk and could enjoy it, we realized how stunning it actually is! The River Walk is beautiful, it felt like a little slice of Europe in the middle of Texas. We sat by the riverside, watching boats full of tourists go down, eating Mexican food (with our free avocado!), and listening to a Mariachi Band that was walking around, playing. We don’t really think that it could have been any more perfect!

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On our last day, we stopped at a beach in Corpus Christi and ate breakfast while looking out at the bay and reminiscing on our time in Texas, saying that we could get used to the view of the beach, the open water, and the seagulls flying over head. That is until I got attacked by a seagull who stole the potato chip out of my hand. Yes, we had potato chips for breakfast (lime flavored Lay’s to be exact), but we think what you should really be focusing on here, is that a freaking BIRD stole my potato chip. We then promptly decided we were over it when his little beak-y freak friends started attacking us, too. Where did that leave us? Unfortunately, we were headed to the airport to come back home to the tundra like weather that awaited us.

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We were not ready to come home, but home and our responsibilities here were calling us and we had to head back. We might have worked hard while we were in Texas, but we also met some amazing people, ate delicious food, and had so much fun! We saw hope and strength where most people would say there should be none. It was an amazing experience and we can’t wait to volunteer with All Hands and Hearts again!

 

Thank you for reading today and we’re glad to be back, we’ve missed chatting with your beautiful faces! We can’t wait to dive back into the kitchen and start testing recipes for y’all! And if you have any questions about All Hands and Hearts and volunteering with them, please don’t hesitate to ask! We’d love to chat with you about it! We would love if everyone volunteered with them! It’s such an amazing experience and we will never forget our time there or the people we met! You can chat with us here in the comments on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook! We look forward to hearing from you! We hope you have a beautiful day, safe travels, and may you always have a cookie in your cookie jar!

5 Comments

  1. 4 Reasons Solo Travel isn’t for Everyone – Uncharted Bakers

    January 22, 2018 at 11:03 am

    […] have enjoyed having someone to talk about our volunteering trip to Texas with. Of course, we’ve told stories to friends and family, but it’s not the same as talking […]

  2. Kate

    February 4, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Loving your blog and this post! I’m starting some volunteer work this week and you’ve got me even more excited!

    1. unchartedbakers

      February 4, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      Thank You! That’s so exciting! Where are you volunteering? It was so rewarding. We worked really hard, but the people made it such a fun experience! I hop your experience is as good as ours was!!

  3. Leonie Parker

    February 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Amazing that you’re doing volunteer work. Makes me to think to give back for often.

    1. unchartedbakers

      February 7, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      It’s great that it inspired you! We try to give back as often as we can and you always meet amazing people when you volunteer!

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