Welcome to ECOEE 2012! As I sit down to write this there are so many thoughts and feelings running through me. As these last couple weeks approaching ECOEE flew by I’ve been looking forward to getting here but also anxious to see what challenges and trials lie before us on our next 120 days. However, as I stepped out of the van and saw the beaming faces of my classmates and felt their warm embraces, I knew that I had made the right decision and that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Today we received our course material and our coveted ECOEE manual. After that we had our first Leader of the Week (LOW) meeting. I must admit that I was intimidated at first to be LOW for the first two weeks but after meeting with Jess and Jon, I am confident that as a LOW team we can set the bar high and successfully guide our group to get everything done and us on the road in a timely and not so stressful manner. We received our maps today (and learned to fold them too!) I can’t believe in a few short days we’ll be relying on these to navigate. Goodbye smart phones and GPS! A past ECOEE member stepped in while we were folding and commented how she still looks back at her maps. I sincerely hope that when we leave here in December we have the same fond feelings about our trip and our group. We made our first Wal-Mart run today! Two carts of food, 12 Parkay butter containers and probably 20 pounds of cheese. We looked like the oddest family I have ever seen in Walmart (and that’s saying a lot) and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it! Jon was an awesome chef today, the spaghetti was great! I hope the food continues like this! ECOEE 2012, lets learn to love and respect each other because this is going to be a trip of a lifetime and one we’ll never forget!