Student Habitat teamToday was incredible. All of us got to work at the jobsite. The forecast said it was supposed to be close to 50 degrees and sunny by the afternoon. Sadly, that was not the case. We had no precipitation which was a blessing, but the temperature only reached a high of 37! Our good spirits got us through the day! We got so much accomplished today. We built the front and back walls of the house and got to raise both of them. Darryl, the homeowner, was back working with us today and brought along his wife, Becky. One of the most rewarding parts about any Habitat trip is getting to meet the people who will be living in the home you help build. Our owners are genuinely so nice and grateful for all the work we are doing. They walked around and shook everyone’s hands and thanked us individually. Today we also met Bridget who along with her 10 year old son and 2 year old daughter will be receiving a Habitat house next year. It was her first time at a jobsite. Owners are required to work 400 hours for habitat to qualify for a home.

Framing is one of the best times to work on a site because it is easy to see the progress your team has made. Everyone worked together, found time to tease and joke a bit, and still managed to impress the workers at the construction site.

The church we were staying at opened the doors and invited anyone who needed a meal to come for dinner. Parishioners not only cook the meal, but they also serve their guests. Karen and I were lucky enough to get to sit with some of the same people we did on Tuesday night. We were so excited when our friend Michelle came. She had never been to dinner at the Methodist Church before. She also told us that she had a job interview the next day. Our fingers are crossed for her, so that she will be able to afford to live somewhere other than in her car with her two dogs. I had a proud “Mom” moment. The students broke up into pairs and sat and ate with the guests. It was an eye-opening evening for most everyone, but very rewarding. Several of the students met people who were living in habitat built homes.

After dinner, we went to Knoxville to spend the evening at Cotton Eyed Jo’s which is a huge line dancing club. We were fortunate enough to be able to see a concert there with Brett Eldridge opening for Gloriana. Karen and I enjoyed a quiet seat in the corner while the students were front row! Everyone had a blast. We learned that line-dancing is an aerobic workout! Our gentleman invited Karen and I for the last slow dance of our evening! We can’t play favorites, but we must admit that the boys have been great sports this week.

Alisa dancing Karen dancing

It is unbelievable how quickly this week has passed. I must admit that I will be a little sad to come back to Ohio.This has been a wonderful week with some incredible memories and stories to last a lifetime. I know that when I am back at Lourdes, I will always have a very special bond with the eight wonderful students who accompanied me on this journey and of course my BFF Karen.

–Alisa