Sometimes when you are the only on in the group who possesses a particular skill, you wind up on a job site by yourself. That’s what dictated Fred’s day today. On Monday, as we worked painting the house on Plantation Island, someone noticed that the floor in the kitchen wasn’t laid quite correctly. Since Fred has experience with laying vinyl plank flooring, he was tasked with returning there today to assist JP in correcting the issue. Working around the kitchen island it soon became clear that this problem could not be remedied by adjusting the current flooring. It seems that an entire new floor is required. As tomorrow is our final day here and we will be working with Habitat, this is another project that will have to be completed by some other team.  

The rest of our team headed to yet another Habitat build site – Vincent Acres.  The land for this new community belonged to a man named – you guessed it – Vincent and was generously donated to Habitat by his sister when he passed on. It is donations like this that continue to assist Habitat in helping families in need of affordable housing.

There will be 79 two-story homes (no, there was no room for number 80) with two baths and a garage. Many of the families who will eventually occupy these homes are currently living in just one or two rooms, so one can just imagine the joy they must feel as they anticipate moving into these spacious accommodations. It makes you really appreciate how much their “sweat equity” costs them. Imagine that you are working two jobs to support your family and just barely getting by on your paycheck. Now imagine that in addition to your job(s), you still had to find time to work on your future home. How many of us would be willing to work that hard to earn the opportunity to own a home?

Of course the first thing one must do on the construction site is get your hard hat. This alone led to a most amusing moment. Vicki, in the interest of ensuring that all of her team members were taken care of, was distracted with trying to obtain two additional hats. At the same time we were given paint pans to use for our waterproofing paint. As we lined up to get our paint, Vicki, distracted as she was, offered up her hard hat to be filled! Fortunately even she realized her error prior to the inside of a hard hat receiving an unexpected new lining! Aren’t days always better when they start with a laugh?

Almost all of the work today would contribute to sealing the house from moisture. Most of us painted the inner and outer edges of all the windows with the aforementioned waterproofing paint. Some spent their time caulking while the remaining members of the team, the duo of experienced nailers, Don and Gary, spent the morning wrapping the house in a thin, styrofoam water seal. This required nailing the sheet, top to bottom, around the entire house. While yesterday’s nailing job gave them lots of practice, there was no nail gun available today. Each nail was pounded in by hand, but there was a small complication. The nails they had were for a (non-existent!) nail gun. This meant that they were strung together and had to be cut apart before they could be used, adding one more step and just a bit of tedium to their manual labor.

As usual for the Habitat projects here, our day ended at noon – well, at a little after noon. As the rest of us gathered up and prepared to head out, the house wrappers indicated that they had just a few minutes work left so that they could work to a more logical stopping point. So as some of us sat and visited with some Habitat workers and spent some time trying to scrape paint off our hands, others policed the area to collect the many discarded water bottles around the job site waiting for the guys to finish up. Stopping at a small park area on the way back to enjoy our picnic lunch, we arrived at the church with just a few hours to kill before we head to the showers and then out to dinner.

Tonight’s dinner, our last evening here, will be at the Sunset Grill – aptly named for it’s view at sunset. The place has come recommended and we are hoping that the clouds will cooperate to allow us to see the view we have been waiting for all week.  

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