Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tuscaloosa Week 6

One of the proud families of a new home!!
The past couple of weeks have been interesting ones, mostly they have been filled with working with Habitat. I have really enjoyed working construction again, I always forget how much passion I have for construction work. During the time that we have been in Tuscaloosa, we have helped complete three houses with a few more nearing completion. The site supervisors seem to like challenging me and making me learn new construction and leadership skills. It has been good and bad, good that they are pushing me to better myself, bad because I feel like it might cause resentment on my team. As far as I can tell, it hasn't yet and I am learning different ways to include my team-mates on the projects that the site supervisors are giving me.

I sadly dropped my cupcake over... 
I had a great birthday this year, it started with Mama texting me first thing in the morning with her special birthday song. As a team, we traveled to Birmingham to see the Civil Rights Museum there. We got the time mixed up and ended up having time to go out for brunch before exploring the museum. After finally settling on a place to eat, we went to a small European cafe. I had crepes for the first time. They were delicious! The Civil Rights Museum was very interesting to explore the different exhibits. Then for dinner, I had requested that as a team we go out to eat at Ruby Tuesday's, and we were able to. A few weeks before, I bought a dress that I really liked and decided to wear it for my birthday. One of my team-mates was kind enough to help me with my hair, so I got dressed up for my birthday. It was a fun day.

I have really enjoyed working with the different volunteer groups that come in each week. Its fun because each week you get to work with different people. The only bad part is needing to explain the same things over again each week. This past week, there were a group of college students from Northern Ireland that were volunteering with Habitat. Unfortunately, I was assigned to a different work site so I was not able to work with them. But I was able to play soccer with them after work one day. It was a really fun game, I was the only girl playing and the Irish are all gentlemen and didn't want to hurt me. We played inside a church's utility gym, complete with the carpeting. It was entertaining to watch the ball bouncing off the walls and ceiling beams.

The group of Irish and us after a sweaty game.
Also this past week, I had my first experience gluing down bamboo flooring to a concrete slab. That was a very interesting and messy experience. But the floors turned out a lot nicer than we thought that they were going to.

Harrison (a local volunteer) and me.
He was pleased that I was able to
teach him more about carpentry.
Other than construction, we have also been doing other random fun stuff. About a week ago, a group of us went and saw The Avengers in the movie theater. I enjoyed the movie, but if I knew my comic book superheros, it would have been better.

Yesterday we were given a tour of the path of the tornado by Jared, the volunteer coordinator for Habitat. It was interesting, but also hard for me to do. Jared watched the tornado happen, so most of what he described was very similar to the flooding that happened in Binghamton this past fall. The way that he described the people's reactions to the disaster brought back a lot of recent memories for me.

Dewayne (one of the construction
supervisors) and some of us

A great group of volunteers!
They worked on the tricky bamboo flooring.
On Friday, I got my first (and hopefully only) major battle scar. Somehow I decided to cut my hand on a metal can while I was trying to cook dinner for the team. Five stitches and five hours later, I am finally leaving the emergency room and heading back for supper. Thankfully I only sliced the fat pad of my thumb. I am having the stitches removed on Monday, in the meantime I am not supposed to get my hand wet or pull/pick up anything with my hand. Hmm, it has made taking showers and getting dressed very interesting. It seems to be healing pretty well even with all the abuse I have been absentmindedly giving it.