Today is the fifth day of our immersion, fourth day at the jobsite, and last full day of work. After a brief gathering with coffee and donuts, we all dove into putting the finishing touches on the scaffolding in preparation for the second floor. We had tremendous progress on the work site today when we shifted focus upwards. We worked together in globing wood glue on top of the I-beams, then laying down a sheet of wood together, and followed by many nails and screws to bolt the wood down. Our teamwork today shined as bright as the sun today as we rapidly put down piece after piece of wood. Damion, the Habitat for Humanity Construction Manager, was floored (pun intended) by how quickly we laid down the sheets of wood for the flooring of the upper level of the house. He had expected us to have the second level flooring done by tomorrow, but we had finished this task by lunchtime.
The lunch today was absolutely delicious and was provided by Angelica and Jennifer, two lively ladies who will be receiving houses from Habitat for Humanity later this year. They prepared a homemade feast of carne asada and tortillas, rice, beans, freshly made guacamole and salsa, crispy chips, gooey brownies, and soft chocolate chip cookies. This break was filled with numerous stories and moments of laughter, especially when Jennifer described to us a board game called Donkey that her friend had made. She kindly loaned the game to us to play before bedtime and I predict that more laughter will be shared tonight thanks to her generosity.
With full bellies, we climbed back on the newly laid floor and began building the walls to the second level. It was much similar to how the first floor walls went up so as professionals we once again amazed Damion and the crew by how fast we nailed the studs, trimmers, and cripples in place to raise the walls on three sides of the house.
After cleaning up, we all travelled to China City, an impressive Chinese restaurant in Oak Harbor, for our farewell dinner provided by Habitat for Humanity with support of China City. Melissa expressed heart-warming thanks to the group for us coming to help build this house for Scarlet and we were all given plastic hard-helmet party hats with our “hard-hat” names to commemorate our time spent in Oak Harbor.
Back at the house, everyone ventured out to the front yard with cots, sleeping bags, and blankets to take short naps or relax in the lovely weather as the sun set. We discussed tonight on how we can turn our gratitude into action not only for the immense generosity of Habitat for Humanity but also in general. We also conversed on what sort of connections exists between sweat equity and expressing thanks.
Even though today was filled with ample amounts of excitement and wonderful memories, it is bitter sweet to know that our journey will be coming to an end tomorrow. But we look forward to arriving at the worksite bright and early tomorrow to make the most of our time by working hard to finish the second floor and building (another pun intended) stronger bonds between each other and our friends from Habitat for Humanity.