"Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart. "
-Rumi

Friday, April 1, 2011

Small town Iowa...Pella style

Ever think that big cities can be confusing to drive? Lots of traffic, hard to read street signs, no sense of direction, feeling turned around? These seem to be pretty common issues that people face when driving in larger cities that they are unfamiliar with. I know that I have had some interesting adventures while driving in Chicago, St. Louis, etc. However, I would not think that somewhere like Pella, Iowa could be as infuriating to drive in as a huge city. I mean, in all honesty, Pella only has about 10,000 people within its city limits. How confusing could it really be?

Well Pella itself was not the issue tonight. In fact, Pella has great streets with little windmills and all. They are easy to read. The roads seem pretty much straight--no strange or unexpected turns due to rivers and what not. The issue came in tonight due to the following issues:
  1. the individual in charge of the logistics of the conference did not provide attendees with the address of the college president's address
  2. the address is not posted online
  3. college students are not the most clued-in people ever (i.e. an inability to give directions to places outside of the college campus)
  4. there are at least 3 streets with the exact same name in Pella--that DO NOT connect
  5. Main St. is under construction and there are little to no signs about detours (the student left that direction out)
Any one of these obstacles might be easily overcome; however all of them combined made for quite the adventure for Wendy and I tonight. It ultimately took 45 minutes to find the house we were looking for in a town with 10,000 people in it. How many laps did we make of Pella? Answer: I have no clue! How frustrated was I? Answer Very!

I suppose in the end, the statement that "Everyday in service-learning is an adventure" certainly held up. In fact, I can't really think of a time that this statement hasn't been true. In reality, getting lost in Pella, Iowa isn't that big of a deal. It is just highly annoying.

There has been some good/entertainment that has come of my time in Pella. Here are some of my favorite quotes overheard while eating at the local "Pizza Ranch" (which serves not only pizza, but also fried chicken, fried fish, mashed potatoes, and green beans).
  • "I only have 2 brain cells left--one is in critical condition."
  • "Hi, what's your name?" "Cody" "Oh, hi Jody." "NO--CODY!" "Hi, Jody." "NO!!! CODY!!!"
  • "I am in an ornery mood tonight."

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