In my last article, I wrote about The Five Stages Of My ASB Road Trip. Now that I am home from this trip, I want to tell you about my experience overall. My alternative service break was to Asheville, North Carolina, and we were working with animals. This trip changed my life in many ways, and I 100% recommend doing ASB if you have the chance!
Days One + Two: Driving, Pasta, More Driving
The entirety of day one was spent driving, so I’m going to talk about days one and two together. We left from BU on Saturday, stayed overnight in Virginia after driving 12 hours, and then finished the last 5 hours of our drive on Sunday. YAY! After arriving in Asheville at around 5, we started to cook dinner. All of us were STARVING, so we dumped 2 boxes of pasta into a pot and patiently waited. We watched Call Me By Your Name and passed out early, full, and happy.
Day Three: First Day Of Service!
Today was so exciting! We woke up early to head to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, our community partner. When we arrived we were instantly overwhelmed by SO MANY ANIMALS! Brother Wolf is a no-kill shelter, and they have about 100 animals. Our first day of volunteering consisted of cleaning out the shed where the dog and cat food is kept. This was a really important task because there were nine of us doing this, and the employees of Brother Wolf have to care for the animals, so they don’t have time to take on the extra work. After service, we napped, and then headed to Luella’s barbecue (the BEST barbecue I’ve ever had)!
Day Four: Service and Free Pizza!
Today for service we were moving gravel into some of the dog’s outdoor areas. This was extremely hard and time-consuming, but it was very meaningful. These outdoor areas are where the dogs play and run around and socialize with other dogs, which is so important for them. After service we were all EXHAUSTED, so we napped (this is a theme throughout the trip), and then headed to Blaze Pizza. They were kind enough to donate free pizza for our whole trip, which was so nice and made us all so happy!
Day Five: Animal Sanctuary and Personal Realizations!
Today was the day that had the most impact on my life as a whole. Brother Wolf has a shelter and an 83-acre sanctuary. We visited the sanctuary and learned about their values, which was really important to me. The entire organization is vegan, and they rescue cows and pigs from slaughterhouses. This sanctuary is just beginning to take shape, but it will eventually be where all of the animals (dogs, cats, pigs, cows, etc.) live. For all of my freshman year of college I was vegan, and being back on this trip made me realize that I want to try it again. These animals are so beautiful, and seeing such a large space dedicated to them was really inspiring.
Day Six: Pizza Part Two and Puppies!
Today was hard for me because I woke up with a fever. The rest of the group headed to an elementary school to talk about animals with the kids, while I stayed back and slept. In the afternoon, we had some free time to walk around Asheville, which was really nice. The city is so cute and there are a ton of local stores and restaurants. Some of the girls on my trip and I got smoothies, and then we all headed back to Brother Wolf to do some more work. For dinner, we went to Mellow Mushroom for more (vegan) pizza, which was incredible!
Day Seven: Packing Up And Saying Goodbye!
Today was very sad because it was our last day at Brother Wolf. When we got there in the morning, there was a full van of adoptable puppies that we got to carry inside which was so cute. We finished cleaning up some scrap metal from the shed, and then walked some dogs! We got out of service super early, and went on a hike at Catawba Falls! This trail is about 30 minutes outside of Asheville, and at the end, there is a huge, beautiful waterfall. We finished off the day with bagels, and packed up our bags to leave at 5 am the next day!
ASB was an incredible experience that I recommend for everybody. The service was really hard work, but also really motivating and inspiring. I made a ton of friends on this trip, and also made memories that I will never forget.