By Paige Mullin, student participant
Today was an amazing second day on the worksite! A lot of sweat, strength, and mind power went into today that left us with a structure that somewhat resembles a house and we can’t wait to finish it tomorrow. From the minute we stepped out of the vans it was right to work. Half the group began moving walls we had built yesterday to make room for the roof we had yet to build and the other half got right to sawing the remaining wood we needed. Being more experienced today, we finished the roof two times as fast as one wall took us yesterday. With all the pieces of the house done we finally got to start assembling it. As we watched walls go up and people started nailing them together, this was the moment it all became real for me. We had a frame! We paused at this moment in the construction to all climb up on the structure to take a picture because it was such an accomplishment. As we stood on the frame, I could see the mother of the family standing in the distance. We locked eyes and she gave me the widest grin. It didn’t matter that I only know one word of Spanish, because she told me everything with this one look. I understood then just how much this meant to them and how grateful they were for all of us.
The next part of making this configuration of walls a true house was more intricate and tedious than anything else we had done, but we were all ready to tackle the challenge. Some were measuring and drawing marks, others followed behind pounding nails half way in on the marks. More of our group followed them wrapping wire arounds the nails, and the last people took up the rear hammering the nails all the way in to secure the wire. We got into a great rhythm and before we knew it the whole house was wrapped in the wire. It was time to put up the tar paper and with only two staple guns a lot of people got to bond with the family. Those who are more accomplished in their Spanish were better at communicating but I think everyone got a chance to get to know them a little. Two of the little kids Jessica and Jonathon make the worksite infinitely more fun! Jessica is an energetic ten year old, ready to help with anything. Jonathon never fails to make any of us laugh with his imagination and inventions. Getting to know them has given the house we are building more meaning and we actually know grateful hands receiving it.
During the time when many were getting to know the family better, I and a couple others discovered we have a passion for using staple guns. It was difficult to get the hang of, but once we got it down we were flying. Tomorrow we get to stucco the house and add the finishing touches. I find it fitting that our last day is on Easter, as it is a holiday of renewal which is what we hope to give this family. But, I think we are all walking away with just as much inspiration as we are leaving with them.