Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day Nine: January 2008

Day Nine: Wednesday, January 16

Hallelujah! We woke up and it was raining! Though we usually wish for clear skies, we knew that rain this morning would mean we could sleep in for the first time. The banging of the raindrops on the roof was a lovely little lullaby for us at 5:45 today. Shane, Chris, Justin, and Shawny decided to surprise us with a special breakfast. As it turns out, their late night grocery run was all about real eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, potatoes, milk, orange juice, and pancakes.

They got up early and laid out the tent like it was a dining room with table settings and candles, and they started cooking an hour before any of the rest of us got up. For the most part, we all got to sleep as long as we wanted. (As it turns out, our early morning schedule means that none of us managed to sleep all that late anyway.) Jack and Josh showed up with huge bags of beignets from Café du Monde to add to our feast. Everyone was awake by 10:30 and we ate huge amounts of food, listened to music, and just had our own little morning party in the still-dry tent (our gutters are holding!). We praised our own ingenuity in installing the temporary kitchen floor, as the water did its usual trick of rising up from underground and flooding our tent from beneath. Because we raised our floor, though, we had no trouble functioning.

We finally got things moving and headed off to Rosie’s. We all managed to fit inside the house, with the exception of Alec, Lindsay S., Mark, and Kate, who started up the job of scraping and sanding the porch so that we can repaint it before we leave. Otherwise, people were spread out over both houses working on all of the parts of drywalling. Most of us worked to tape and “mud” the sheets we had hung yesterday. Once we got the mud ready, we made a little ritual out of marking almost everyone’s face with two stripes of drywall compound and declared ourselves the Mud Club.

Some of us got very professional at mudding very quickly, especially Briana, Julie, and Katie. Tommy, Jed, and Josh took on the job of taping the inside corners of all of the rooms, while virtually everyone else taped seams. Late in the afternoon, our new supply of sheetrock arrived, so we got to move toward finishing the other side of the house. Justin, Sam, Bryan, Mark and Scott got moving pretty quickly and covered another room in record time. Aaron and Matt W. tackled the laundry room and its maddening angles while Obi, Chris, and Briana took on the bathroom on that side. None of these jobs got completed today, but they got far enough along to make it much easier to complete them tomorrow.

We spent a long time making dinner tonight (Chicas and the Men made some fabulous soupy chicken stew) and people spent quality time with their buddies. Every day we rotate partners to check in on each other’s days and on our general states of mind. It really helps us to process what we’re doing. We also write individual journals and we do quite a bit of processing and talking in our group meetings.

We’re glad we had a slowed-down day; we needed it. We’ll be ready to hit things hard again tomorrow when we return to Habitat to continue jobs we started on Tuesday. A few of us will go to Rosie’s all day long, as we have some big jobs to finish while Jack is still here.

Because we had a shorter day than usual, our total hours for today are 189; that brings our running total to 2219. Let’s see if we can make it past 5000. . .

Amanda and Katie try to mud a wall while in a crowded hall way.

Nicole and Linzy laughing at Dane Cook jokes while mudding a wall.

Linzy and Nicole tilling Rosie’s backyard and building a path.

Matt gets over his fear of heights while mudding his side of the wall.

We work till dark as Matt keeps mudding in the dark.

Everyone entering Rosie’s to finish mudding.

Mark and Matt working on taping and mudding.

Kyle delivering the final pieces of dry wall.

Julie and Briana working on the mildew resistant dry wall in the bathroom.

Mark removing the window bars so we are able to give it a fresh coat of paint.

Kate and Lindsay sand the posts on the front porch so that they can be painted in the coming days.

Katie cleans up the messy mud that splattered all over the window. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Thanks, Katie!

Matt muddes the window in the front from to prep for painting.

Julie uses the roto-zip to cut out a hole in the drywall where an electrical outlet will go. Go, Julie, go!

Alec and Serg take a break while Nicole sweeps the floor before installing the next piece of drywall.