Denver, CO 1- Habitat for Humanity (Post 2)

​Denver Daze started the day at a slightly slower pace, waking up flawless at about 9:00 a.m. to a hearty breakfast prepared by our very own Gunnar and Alex. Today marked out first day of service in the ReStore locations farther into Denver territory as well as our first day apart from one another as a group. Before heading to our service sites, we had some time to kill in the downtown Denver area. Despite Gunnar's pleas to tour the Denver Mint, we opted to pay a visit to the Colorado State Capitol instead. Despite feeling a bit out of place in our tennis shoes and work shirts, we arrived at the realization that Missouri's State Capitol building is, in fact, far superior to the cramped interiors of Denver's.

After spending some time at the Capitol building, we made our way across the street to a local bookstore where we got to kill some more time exploring and more importantly, get a local's recommendation on where to grab coffee. Post-caffeination, our space ship, Red Rocket, set sail, with NO TICKET, mind you, despite parking in a questionably restricted location for over an hour. As we approached our destination, it was evident that our surrounding were increasingly displaying that we were moving away from the more affluent inner portion of the city.

​We were greeted with kind smiles at the entrance of the ReStore and made to feel at home while we anxiously awaited our volunteer orientation. After a thrilling video on ReStore safety, we got suited up with splinter-proof gloves and stylish aprons sporting the Habitat logo on the front. However, this was not before we were approached by one of the Volunteer Coordinators for some helpful hints on how to make a billboard design that they were hoping to run in the local area just a little bit better. Little did they know they were speaking with students from the best Journalism school in the nation. Needless to say, they got more than a few helpful hints.

​We hit the floor of the ReStore running and got right to work organizing tiles. Yes, tiles. Like the ones your parents spent two weeks plastering on the walls and floors during that home makeover they made you participate in at one point or another when you were growing up. We organized hundreds of tiles by brand, color and size, which proved to frustrating at times, but ultimately, quite fulfilling. As soon as we finished the tiles, we were informed that an entire truckload of filing cabinets and linoleum vinyl flooring was about to arrive. After Anne Marie took a near fatal blow to head with a densely rolled piece of linoleum flooring, we finished unloading the entire truck. With a sigh of relief, we began to take a moment of relaxation before we were told that all of the (100+) pieces of flooring had to be measured by length and width, taped, priced, rolled and put away. This task seemed daunting, but fear not, six of us working non-stop were able to complete everything in a mere four hours of strenuous toil. Oh, yeah, this happened after unloading multiple sets of cabinets and kitchen appliances. To wrap up an easy day on the job, we removed the rusty, stripped screwed hinges from about 20 doors and filed them according to functionality in the very back of the store. After this, our day was officially over.

​We ended our day as a group back at Bethany Lutheran Church with a wicked game of dodge ball against the local Boy Scout troop and some delicious quesadillas prepared by Ali and Tanu. Yes, we beat the 13-year-olds in our highly competitive match. Don't doubt us.

As things began to calm down, we settled in for our daily reflections and talked about the significance of our experiences. We talked mostly about the great bonding we experienced together working on the site and how really focusing on the tasks at hand helped take our mind off of the worries of the world. We weren't concerned with who liked our pictures on Facebook or whether our latest tweet had been retweeted or whether we had a text message waiting for us back in the car. For the first time on our trip we were totally in the moment. We talked about how the new perspectives we had gained added a layer of depth to our understanding of societal differences that we had not yet experienced before. We talked about how our interactions with the employees and customers at the ReStore site were on a completely even playing field—no one superior, no one inferior. We talked about how much we looked forward to another day of service and what the rest of the week might bring. #flawless

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