Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Day Eight: January 2008

Day Eight: Tuesday, January 15

5:45 came very early this morning, but slightly warmer weather meant that we managed to drag ourselves out anyway. We got to have an excellent breakfast that included some leftover taco fixings from last night, including taco-flavored TVP and canned chicken and even a big bucket of actual sour cream. The Elevaters (Emily, Alec, Lindsay, Erik, and Mark) were responsible for the great tacos; they are often our most creative cooks. Chicas and the Men (Julie, Kate, Briana, Jed, and Tommy) capitalized on their leftovers by making them into some scrambled eggs. We were about to make it to work on time, but we had to jump the bus with the rental truck, so we got there at 7:45.

Most of us went to Habitat and continued jobs that we had started last week. That meant that lots of us were up on ladders putting up roof parts. Sergio, Shane, and Erik worked on fasciae (facing under the roof eaves). Lindsay S. joined with some volunteers from Boston to do trim work. Bryan, Matt W., Aaron, and others were finishing the decking of one roof, and Nicole, Linzy, Kate, and Sam worked on the undersupports for that same roof. Emily, Tommy, Elijah and Shawny kept plugging away at that crazy double hip roof (one that has all four sides sloping up to a pointed top). Jed, Brad, Katie, Obi, Amanda, Lindsay R., and Justin put the finishing touches on the floor system at Anne’s house, which was a major triumph for our group.

We’re all dragging a bit today, so a pick-me-up seemed necessary. When Justin and Shane went to pick up our 310 pounds of laundry, they also picked up a rare commodity: Cokes! We needed some caffeine and just something special to keep us going when we went to Rosie’s house. One crew had already started the day there: Matt P., Briana, Alec,
Julie, Scott, and Mark. Jack and Josh were there too, as well as Chris. They kept the drywall process rolling as fast as they could, though they pretty quickly ran out of full sheets and had to work with lots of scraps. They still did incredible work and got a couple of full rooms finished before the rest of the team arrived. Once we all were there, some of us continued the yard and garden work while others threw themselves into sheetrocking.

A fun diversion for the day was Rosie’s acquisition of a metal detector, which she hoped would help us find some jars of coins she and her mother had buried long ago. The metal detector had a depth of only six inches and it kept going off practically everywhere we used it in the yard. Still, Shane, Elijah, Bryan, Amanda, and different random other folks dug diligently when the signal seemed particularly strong. We haven’t found any real treasures yet, but it seems likely that we will.

We expect big rain tomorrow. Honestly, we are praying for big rain tomorrow, as Habitat will not work in downpours and that would give us time to catch up on some morning sleep. We just can’t seem to stop talking, hanging out, looking at pictures, and planning projects at night, so we never get to bed early enough to get substantial rest. Maybe tomorrow morning will be our time. If it’s not pouring, we believe that we must meet our obligation to Habitat and get there as close to 7:30 as we can. Come on, rain!

We put in another ten hour day today, meaning we have added another 295 hours or so to our running total, which has now reached 2030 hours! That would be a full year’s work for one person, but we managed it in just seven work days. For those who are interested, we are also keeping a tally of the number of u-turns we take in the bus. Some of them are necessary parts of our path, while some of them are corrective measures. In any case, turning our huge bus around on the road is a pretty impressive feat. So far, we have taken 13 u-turns. Way to go, Leo!

The “Next Top Model” has nothing on the crew from SMC as the NOLA volunteers pose for the camera.

Aaron explains how to make a difficult angle to Z at the Habitat Site

Bryan concentrates as he accurately slices the board like butter.

Matt W. Working hard putting in Support on the trusses at Habitat.

On a nice day in New Orleans Leo works hard putting up siding even after he drives us around.

Matt P. and Scott prepare a sheet of dry wall to be put into Rosie’s rebuilt house.

Aaron instructs Bryan and Linzy on how to use the speed square inside the habitat house.

Perfecto! Time to start taping.

Matt Wheeler hangs from the roof as he nails in the wood braces for the trusses.

Matt Wheeler hangs from the roof as he nails in the wood braces for the trusses.