January 21, 2022

Tivnu Outdoors

This blog post was written by Spencer Littman, a member of the Tivnu 8 cohort from Fairfield, CT. He enjoys playing basketball, fishing, and drinking root beer. A fun fact about Spencer is that he has 4 dogs back home in Connecticut. He interns at Friendly House and Tivnu construction.

Being a participant in Tivnu 8 has already provided me with many fulfilling experiences, and we’re only half way through the year! Personally I value the outdoors. This year at Tivnu I’ve had the opportunity to create new memories in nature with new people. The trip to Camp Westwind definitely provided me with my favorite memory during Tivnu. Ansel and I thought we were only going on a short walk up the tsunami evacuation route, but that quickly turned into a long, steep hike that led into a beautiful meadow overlooking the entire Oregon coast. The same hike was scheduled for the next day, but it was unfortunately canceled because of the storm that was on the way to the Oregon Coast. That made the hike that Ansel and I did even more special because we were the only people that were fortunate enough to experience it.

Spencer at summit of hike to God’s Thumb at Camp Westwind

Construction has also been a great way for me to have new experiences with many different people. My favorite days of construction are when we work in the tiny house villages for houseless people. This past week I had the privilege of working at QA (Queer Affinity) Village. Jacob and I removed an old ramp to their shower, and installed a new and improved ramp that is wheelchair accessible. The next day one of the village members thanked us and told us that they appreciated the work we did on the ramp. The feeling of accomplishment that I felt after the village member thanked me is something that I’ll never forget. Moments like that are unique, and I wouldn’t have ever experienced anything like it if it weren’t for Tivnu.

Building these accessibility ramps has improved the lives of people living there and brought me a real sense of accomplishment

I’ve also really enjoyed the Educational Explorations, especially the trip to the salmon ladders at the Columbia River Gorge, and the cool hike that followed. I learned a lot about the importance of salmon and how it plays such an important role in the lives of indigenous people in the Pacific Northwest. I was really intrigued by the salmon ladders that we were able to look at from underground. It was interesting to watch the salmon work their way through the ladders (pictured below on the left). The hike that we did after visiting the salmon ladder was really cool and it led to the huge waterfall in the right hand photo below.

left, salmon ladder at Bonneville Dam; right: Wahclella Falls, also in the Columbia River Gorge

From the excursions to the internships to the EE’s: my favorite parts of Portland and the Pacific Northwest are all outdoors.

Aaron and Spencer taking care of business at construction

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