Asheville - Habitat for Humanity (4)

Day 5: "John, John, John, and Ron"

Greetings from Asheville!

We cannot believe it is already our fifth day on the job.  We have become semi-professional construction workers, and are finally starting to find the correct sized nails. As we have met our third group of core volunteers, we have found more elderly women for Blake serving as potential suitors, but none of them are Carol. Today at the job site, Danielle, Grace, Noelle, Paige, and Abby worked on the Women's Build to complete the roof.  Paige and Danielle angrily kicked the ladders into place while Noelle held them in order to safely get on the roof. Connor, Blake, and Kate worked on John's crew. Kate and Blake worked on siding for most of the day and Connor worked on demolition in the house next door. Connor's hardest task was not the demolition, though, rather it was distinguishing between John, John, John, and Ron who were the four core volunteers he worked with. Lastly, Allie, Julia, Nick D, and Nick E hammered over 2,000 nails into the floor joists to help build a subfloor. Overall, the workday went rather quickly, and we had a great time as always, despite our atrocious orange MAB shirts.
Immediately following the worksite, we went to the downtown YMCA to take a shower before our dinner with the partner family.  Everyone was very excited to finally take a shower longer than two minutes without the worry that we would run out of hot water.  When we say everyone was happy, we mean the girls, the men were suffering from severe bath withdrawals, Connor even brought his bath cup to the YMCA.

After the YMCA, we had about an hour to kill before our potluck dinner.  We walked around downtown and found ourselves in a gourmet chip establishment, which is no surprise, seeing that half of the trip has consisted of our group searching for food. The chips came in various flavors like Cajun, barbecue, and buffalo. If someone said they were not good, they were lying. After we ate the delicious chips, we roamed around downtown Asheville for a while. We went into a couple stores around town just to take up the rest of our spare time.

Eventually we began to head towards the church for the potluck and were lucky enough to take the scenic route.  We were able to truly appreciate the Asheville countryside and the comment,"I totally want a vacation home out here," was repeated about thirty times. We arrived at the church for the dinner with the partner family right at 6. We were greeted inside with several thank you's and delicious food, almost good enough to rival the Mexican feast from last night. Once we sat down and started dinner, Stephanie, the Volunteer Coordinator, stood up and began the speaking for the evening. Much to the surprise of all the breakers, every one of us had to stand up and talk a little bit about our experiences so far with Habitat for Humanity and why we had decided to make the trip. Although it was unexpected, everyone managed to speak eloquently about what we had done. It was incredible how genuinely interested the congregation was in what we had to say. After all of us had spoken, Jeff, another Habitat employee who works with the partner families directly stood up and spoke to us about the rigorous process all the families have to go through to be selected to be a partner family. It was eye-opening to all of us because we were not aware of all the steps in order to qualify for a habitat home. 
Perhaps the consensus amongst the group for our favorite part of the day came next when the soon to be homeowner, Gwen, stood up and began to speak about how she got into Habitat. She was incredibly appreciative of all of us. We were humbled by her words to say the least. We also had the good fortune of meeting her three children. One was understandably shy, but the other two could not have been more excited to meet Grace and get her up on stage to showcase their singing talents together. Following Gwen's story and meeting her children, we were soon up on stage speaking with Gwen and having genuine conversations with her. This opportunity had truly made us realize how lucky we were to be a part of such an amazing trip with such an amazing group of people. It will motivate us to work as hard as we can tomorrow in order to make the perfect house for Gwen and her amazing children. Tonight really helped us associate a face with everything we have been working for and made all the hard work and sore arms, worth it. 
Signing Out (with still no pink-eye in sight),
Connor & Danielle

No comments:

Post a Comment