A distinct lack of Carly Rae Jepsen waking us up in the mornings, spontaneous singing and dancing, and sleeping on cold hard floors has left most if not all of the Big Lifters suffering from TBL withdrawal. (Symptoms include choosing to sleep on the floor of your bedroom in a sleeping bag despite your bed being perfectly usable, and uncontrollably breaking out into dance every time Call Me Maybe is played in a public place. Which is a lot of times, trust me.) The remedy? A reunion of course! And what better way to celebrate the spirit of TBL by volunteering and giving back to the community?
And so on Sunday a bunch of us turned up to UTS bright and early, proudly wearing our blue shirts. Seeing everyone laughing and joking together on the coloured couches was a neat parallel to that very first morning of The Big Lift, when the same group of people turned up, some shy and quiet, most not knowing each other, not knowing that the upcoming week would change our lives. We were met by Caitlin from BUiLD who gave us our instructions before piling us onto the bus. Our destination? Elouera Beach at Cronulla, where we would be helping to plant trees as part of National Tree Day. The bus trip made many a Big Lifter nostalgic for the good ol' days (yes okay I know it was only like 3 weeks ago), but I have to admit that having to wear a seatbelt and refrain from dancing in the aisles was quite weird and unfamiliar at first :P
We were greeted on arrival to the site by sunshine and clear blue skies, though the day would prove to be on the chilly side, as we discovered later. Council workers gave us our instructions, which were to plant, mulch and water saplings. We tackled the job with the enthusiasm and soon showed that teamwork was the best way of getting things done, forming an efficient line from bucket filling, delivery and planting/mulching. Being in the company of friends and working on a service project together again put everyone in high spirits, and at one point in the day, we even pulled out the famous Call Me Maybe flashmob, to the amusement of the council workers and other volunteers.
Despite the council website anticipating a finish time of 2pm, they clearly had not anticipated the determination and sheer awesomeness that the TBLers brought with them, and we managed to wrap it all up a whole 2 hours early at 12pm, just in time for a delicious catered lunch consisting of sandwiches, chips, cakes and drinks, organised by Caitlin and Tam from SOUL. After receiving our much needed sustenance, we were given free time to generally chill out and relax. Some of us braved the cold and the wind and headed down to the beach, where we kept warm by playing a variety of games such as Ninja and frisbee.
It was soon time to depart, and so we all headed back onto the bus, thoroughly satisfied with a full day of hard work and play. I anticipate that this sort of event will become a regular occurrence, and I definitely can't wait, because I had heaps of fun and I know everyone found it very rewarding as well. :D
By Wilson Kwong