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Bruises, Birds and BBQ

Thursday, March 3:

Work day number three begins! Like yesterday, we were blessed with the hard-working souls from Montana to keep this house moving along.

Before work started, we enjoyed a moving speech from Don. He told us about how his daughter was driving home one night and got into a car accident because she was texting. Thankfully, she was okay, but that did not prevent Don and his wife from a nerve-racking, two-hour car drive to the hospital. Don spoke so passionately about his daughter and how life is a gift we cannot throw away. Lesson learned: do NOT text and drive.

After Don’s great story and a morning prayer we got to work.

The students were working on the "Kings" and "Queens" today.
The students were working on the "Kings" and "Queens" today.

Many of us agree that this was the most challenging and frustrating day of work. A lot of the group members spent the day working on “Kings” and “Queens.” These are the names for two pieces of wood – one a little bit smaller than the other – that are placed on top of each other and  nailed together. The tricky part is that the pieces need to be flush. Flush means that all of the sides need to be perfectly in line – emphasis on perfect!

Getting these wood pieces flush was the frustrating part of the day. If you messed up, all of the nails had to be pulled out and reinserted. It was definitely tough to keep working when you had to keep fixing your mistakes so many times.

Some other members of the group enjoyed their time putting on boards that would serve as part of the flooring. Their muscle strengths were tested with this job, because they had to constantly bend over; and, although they were sitting for most of the time, sitting over the edge of a wooden board isn’t very comfortable.

Today’s lunch break should enter the record books as the most entertaining lunch break in history. Hannah and Chris, our assistant supervisors, joined us for a lunch on the beach. Uninvited guests to our lunch were some seagulls that hovered over us and tried to steal our food. Bobby and David decided to try and tame the seagulls by running around with granola bars held up in the air. Needless to say, they won’t be called the “bird whisperers” anytime soon. We all had a good laugh watching the birds swarm the group.

After our fun lunch break, it was time to get back to work. The food and laughs must have given us some energy because things went much smoother in the afternoon. Nearly all of the “Kings” and “Queens” were finished, and Don sang our praises about how good we were doing. He even told us that some head honchos from Habitat for Humanity stopped by the site and told him what a great job both he and his workers (us!) were doing on the house.

The students are all smiles even after a long and exhausting day.
The students are all smiles even after a long and exhausting day.

For dinner we decided to look for some local cuisine. We heard from the Montana group about this place called “The Shed.” The only way to describe this place is to call it a wooden shack completely filled with miscellaneous junk. One fun feature of the restaurant was dollar bills that were literally forked into different places around the building.

The Shed was the home of BBQ and pork sandwiches. We got to meet The Shed’s own celebratory first ever customer. He was a 77-year-old man, but you wouldn’t believe it from his attitude and spark. Jess even got a peck on the cheek when she told him he didn’t look a day over 21.

As everyone was finishing up their meals, David and Erin surprised the group with a Scooby-Doo cake. This was to commemorate a job well done on the site and a great week thus far.

After continuing to stuff our faces with food, we were joined by Chris and Hannah from the work site. We all went outside to a big bonfire pit and got to hang out with each other. The festivities continued as the group got some delicious gelato. Let’s hope, after eating all that food, we can finish our last day of work tomorrow strongly!