Today we finally started volunteering! We spent five hours working with the Veterans Restoration Quarter. The VRQ is a transitional home for veterans addressing issues of poverty, hunger, homelessness and access to health care. They are located in an old hotel so we spent our morning prepping the exterior to be painted.
During lunch we broke off into groups of 2-3 and sat with different groups of veterans in the dining hall. It was so interesting to hear their life stories and advice. Later, we heard a testimony from one of the residents. It was incredible to see how quickly life can change and how unexpectedly a person can hit rock bottom. It really challenged our perspectives on homelessness.
After volunteering we went to “Black Mountain” which is a super hip area east of Asheville. We went thrift shopping and ate delicious waffle cones from Kilwins Ice Cream. This town seriously gets quirkier by the day.
Next we drove to Montreat College which is BEAUTIFUL… but the best part is that we found a GOLDEN RETRIEVER. He was so smart, he knew how to shake hands and sit. We walked around the campus in awe of its beauty–it sits right in the mountains surrounding a lake. (Don’t worry Uva, you’re still the best!)
After the dog experience we went back to the hostel and cooked three courses of hot dogs: regular hotdogs, home-made beanie weenies, and pigs in a blanket. We are really quite the chefs.
Good thing we ate such a nutritious dinner because next we went CONTRA DANCING at the Grey Eagle Pub. We pulled out our best moves and danced the night away with lots of sweaty strangers. It was probably our quirkiest experience in Asheville to date.