Columbia, SC - Habitat for Humanity (Post 5)

Hey yaaa'lllllllll (we have assimilated).

Today, the news comes to you from Ashley (Alex) and Ralph (Richard). We have decided to spice things up a bit, you know, to keep it real for our homies back home (key demographic target: 18-25 yr. old millennials). Since we are the most exciting group to ever grace USC with our presence, you will be learning about the events of the day in a nightly news sequence format.

First, we're going to let Ralph Barber take it away to tell you this morning's highlights. Yeah, I was asleep for part of that, so I'll send it back to Ashley for the Runners and Coffee update. Take it away Ashley. Thanks Ralph, that was RIVETING (still LOTS of coffee in the system). SO this morning, we had a handful of us, always traveling in groups of 3 for safety of course, went to get some coffee at a local coffee place. A few others went on a lovely run through the beautiful city of Columbia, SC to see some of their landmarks that they don't really seem to care about.

Once the gang was back together, we hopped in Mom and Dad and headed down Kitti Wake Dr. to begin our last day of service. Since Ralph was awake by this point, I am going to let him give you a rundown of the morning's events. Back to you Ralph.

Thanks Ashely, I can tell you're a big fan of the caffeine. Once we arrived at our sight out seniors on the trip selected "Favorite Childhood Show Character" as the nametag theme for the day. I was Danny Fenton, from the show Danny Phantom, and Ashley was Katie Couric. Her love for news started at a young age, folks. The house we were working on that day was a somewhat recently repossessed home. The homeowner had to be evicted due to bankruptcy problems. She was willing to leave the house, but her sons were sadly not. The house was not in good conditions in any way, shape or form.

We split at this point, and Carl, Marge, Jack, and I went to lift bricks. Steve, our site leader, drove us to yesterday's location. On the way he told us some stories, and then some more stories. He told a lot of stories. After learning a lot about Steve (did you know he once had mono before his senior prom?) we were introduced to our bricks. After some quick math, we realized there were over 500 bricks. With each brick weighing around 2 pounds and us having to lift the bricks in and out of a truck we realized we lifted a literal, not figurative, ton of bricks. Also, we met a chameleon, definite highlight of the morning. Now back to Ashley for what was happening at the house during the brickventure.

Thanks Ralph, since the coffee is ever flowing, and therefore still in my system, that was again riveting news to learn about. While the brick-lifters were away, the demo team tackled this bear of a house. We separated all of the things the family had left into trash and donation piles, then got to pull up all the carpet from the floor. After most of the clearing of the inside of the house had occurred, some of us ventured into the depths of the crawl space to discover that there were piles upon piles of trash. So the team suited up in HAZMAT suits (aka banana costumes) and began the many trips to and from the dumpster. Once all the trash was cleared out, we began even more deconstruction. Gunner, Erma, Norm, and I got to take out the dilapidated back porch. This included lots of swinging hammers and crowbars, and not a lot of safety precautions… (The network wishes us to inform you that all safety precautions were, in fact, met, and no one should be worried, especially you, mom.) While all of this was happening, our fearless leader Brad was inside tearing up the flooring, and running into more problems than were expected. Turns out the floor had rotted away due to a combination of poor maintenance, procrastination, and a few quick fixes. But as always, they got it taken care of.

Soon after Carl, Marge, Jack, and I (Ralph, just cutting in here) return triumphant over Ton O'Bricks, an Irish boxing legend from the 1820s. We were greeted by a worksite almost completely cleaned (with the exception of a ludicrous amount of paint cans). Ashley and her group had completed their work.

Next came rest, relaxation, and waiting for food. (for a really really REALLY long time –Ashley) Our R&R&W had several highlights, including catching balls, dodging balls, and dodging dogs (/bears –Ashley) who were guarding the yard our Frisbee got thrown into (not by me of course-Ashley). Then the future homeowner arrived. I'll toss it back to Ashley to tell you all about her and her family.

So Brittani was pretty awesome. She was the future homeowner of the house we were working on and she was great. We got to learn more about the process she went through to get this house. I think we all gained a greater appreciation for what we had been doing this week after hearing that she had been waiting for this house for upwards of 3 years. Yet, through all of this waiting, she still seemed to have the most positive attitude one could have while waiting for a home of her own. Brittani and her 3 children also made us adorable goody baskets, accompanied with hand-written notes from each child (notable quotes: "Age # 11, Baseball # 1", "Shouldn't you all be on the beach or swimming?").

Soon our lunch arrived, and considering it was almost 2pm we were all pretty excited. Especially Ralph, so I'm going to throw it back over to him for this part.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmhhhhh. Burritos. Back to you Ashley I couldn't have said it better myself.

After the burritos, we had to say (invisible) tearful goodbyes to our new friends Matt, Steve, and Tim. We had a blast working with them this week and it was sad to have to leave knowing there was still work that could be done. However, we left knowing we had worked hard and done everything we could to help them out. It also helped to know we were leaving it in the hands of some of the greatest people we met while down here in Columbia, SC.

Well, Ashley, we're running close to the end of our segment so let's go into the lightning round of updates because I can smell your FOMO from here.

1. Sonic happy hour happened. They actually had people on roller skates.
2. The girls went to Wal-Mart, except for Carl who went to the YMCA with the boys as she was going on an afternoon house visit.
3. People went on a tour of Greek Village. According to Ashley it was super cool, but I had a paper to write (Booo Russian classes).
4. We ate dinner. Pasta tastes good. (Yay more food! -Ashley)
5. Reflection turned into a "We love Mizzou, a lot" moment, but what do you expect from a bunch of AASBers. It's kind of our job.
6. We started writing this blog and we can hear people laughing.

That's all for tonight folks. Good night. Stay Classy Blogoshpere.

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