Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day 2: The Blessing that is Sidewalk Chalk

Day 2: Working on Working on Working. [Ish.]

Quote of the Day
- Everyone

Today the Maroons began their work week in Columbia!

To begin with, one might need to start at the beginning. Roanoke College has had a relationship with Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity since 1986, when still-Chaplain Paul Henrickson first ventured with a smallish group to Columbia to attempt...something. In the intermediary twenty-seven years, Roanoke College has formed an established and trusting relationship with CSC and we are currently reaping the benefits of that relationship.

To be honest, RC/CSC coalition forms a family unit. The patriarch of the CSC portion of our unit is one Steve Davis [aka StevEarl, Habitat's construction manager. Not only does patriarch Steve oversee our various construction projects, many of us who consistently return to South Carolina see him as a second father figure. [Steve unfortunately didn't make an appearance today.] At his side is Matt Henrickson, son of Rev. Paul and Habitat's project foreman. He serves the role of "cool older brother" - he's really not much older than us, but the same admiration we have for Steve we also for him.  The remainder of the CSC family  - Emily, Laura, Talisha [Beha, RoCo '12], and a slew of others all take on various other vital roles to the family unit that we've developed - the brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. that make our world go around. (We all come because we love the work we do. But between Steve, Matt, Talisha, Emily, and everyone else, it's really the people that keep us coming back.)

(To add to this whole family thing, the CSC coalition has made trips to Roanoke every year to help with the freshman R-House build. If you're reading this blog and you're a student of Roanoke College, you've most assuredly met Steve, probably Matt, and possibly an array of other figures. Yeah. We know them personally. BE JEALOUS. You really should be.)

And then there's the Roanoke College side of the RC/CSC brigatde. Headed by Rev. Paul, his childhood best friend Hank, and this time around Rev. Paul's wife Jennifer, we resemble what would happen if you mixed together the Brady Bunch, the Von Trapp family, and just enough of the Manson family so that you're just a little bit afraid all of the time. It's always a good time [but watch your back].

Combined, RoCo/CSC is an unstoppable combination. [That may be a lie. Unfortunate? Unconquerable...? Those are probably more accurate.]

Today, we started off our week at a place called Rockgate. Basically the entire Rockgate community is basically made up of Habitat homes. Nowadays, the community is at a point where the only remaining construction lots are where the Habitat Rockgate offices are. As a result, our projects are at least beginning with the preparation of the office and material holding areas for transport. [They're trailers. This isn't as weird as it sounds.]

Today we did the following things:
  • Beginning the taking apart of the fences that surround the Habitat property
  • Clearing out containers full of equipment, reorganizing the equipment and putting the equipment back in the containers
  • Bagging insulation
  • Dealing with and taking apart garden beds
  • Enjoyed a delicious lunch of sandwiches, cookies, chips, and fruit cookies.
  • Picking up garbage
  • Hacking the built-up brush around around the Habitat offices
  • Sorting lots and lots of nails 
  • Determining what things were of high-enough quality to be sold at the ReStore
 This kind of work doesn't necessarily entail the excitement that comes with straight construction, but at the same time this represents how strong the bond between CSC and RC really is - they trust us to make fun the the somewhat monotonous tasks of this kind of prep work.

And we most certainly did.

In New Orleans over winter break, RoCo discovered a childhood game called four-square and turned it into something of a New Orleans phenomenon. It was all kinds of intense.

We brought that down to SC with us. Armed with a kickball and some sidewalk chalk, we successfully blocked off the street during our lunch for an overly-intense game of street four-square. And then during every break. And even when we probably should have been working.

In NOLA, we also instituted our now-tradition of a "Stand by Me" sing-along. We all gather together and belt it out to the chagrin of half of the people around us. In NOLA it happened on our last day. Here it happened on our first. Expect more reports of comparable group sing-alongs as the week progresses.

We cut our day off at 3:00 and departed back to the college. Napping, running, and watching of Beverly Hills 90210 went until about 6, when we gathered around for one of two dinners at Camp Kinard. Chicken and rice and green beans - all very good, though just a warm-up for the next four days of delightful eating. After dinner, Mollie, Phillip, Andrew, and Bridget headed to the basement of the dining hall, where utilizing the same sidewalk chalk and kickball we engaged in a spirited game of four-square [again]. This time we tried various alternatives to traditional four-square na- right-handed, left-handed, no-handed, etc. It didn't really work... the fact that we didn't break something is basically a miracle. But that's all right. [We have the edge over our competition tomorrow. Muhahahahaha.]

At 8, we  gathered around for our nightly gathering. We sang songs while Rev. Paul plays the guitar from a camp-style songbook. We reflect on our day. And then we watch a slideshow of the various pictures taken through the day. They range from funny to inappropriate to actual showcases of productivity. [We will most definitely be sharing these on our Facebook page in time, though right now we're still dealing with sketchy WiFi connections.] Following this, we ended our day with a spirited game of Apples to Apples, accompanied by an unfortunate concoction of coffee mixed with orange juice and some PopTarts.

Tomorrow, StevEarl is scheduled to make his first appearance and take a group of us to a home that currently being rehabilitated. This is sure to make for some interesting tales. After our work day we'll then head to his house to enjoy the delicious cooking of his wife, Julie, and the company of the whole of the Davis family [and hopefully the rest of our CSC family].

So until then, we's all goin' to bed. Y'all do y'all, peeps, and have a good night.

Andrew Dittmar & Mollie Gleason
Bloggers extraordinaire.

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