Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Habitat, and Where it's Taken Me pt. 2

So after working all day on the house, we'd come back to camp to shower and relax in the evening. This was usually made up of playing ping pong and card games while sitting around the fire. But college kids will get feisty, and eventually we made a trek down the road to a gas station to buy beer. Hey I was 22, no reason I can't enjoy a beer after a long day of working in the sun, yes? We talked more with the AmeriCorps volunteers, most of whom were college graduates that wanted to do something with their lives before getting into the career force, so they would sign up for a year and use the Grant they received at the end to pay off student loans. They had different "modules," where they would work on a project for 3 months, then move somewhere else to work on a different project. Very cool stuff to hear about.

The tents that the AmeriCorps volunteers stayed in.

Back on the jobsite the houses went up surprisingly fast. I think by the end of the second day we had all of the exterior walls and trusses up.

Why who is that handsome devil in the green shirt?

And before long the roof was sheeted.

The third day saw us up on the roof laying down the sheeting, while people were putting up the interior walls and framing out for the windows.

The guy that was talking to Danny and myself was "The Major," a retired Marine Corps. officer who joined us on the third day with all the roof-related construction. I think a cool part of the whole experience is that we got to meet such an eclectic group of individuals, all coming together to give time and effort for people they'll never meet and never know.

We had a halfday where we went to the Gulf Shores to relax by the beach, which was very nice, but the best time I had was definitely being on the jobsite. I loved it, mainly because this was the first time I was doing construction frequently in a few years, and within a few days some of the less-experienced people were asking me for advice or asking for help. It's always good to have someone look up to you.

The memories from the trip have faded over time (partially the reason I'm writing about it, so that I don't completely lose them), but it still stands out as a great experience for me. By the end of the week we had both houses completely shingled, with windows and doors installed, and had were about halfway done siding them. Not too shabby for a bunch of lazy college students.

1 comment:

Ric said...

I briefly considered joining AmeriCorps (US) or the Peace Corps (International) after college. I think AmeriCorps requires at least one year of dedication; two for the PC.

I think it'd be awesome to help out so many individuals, and would be a great experience -- but that's a long time to be away from family and friends.