Habitat 2020: Monday – Down to Work
SHANNON WHITE and TIM BROUD
Today was my third first day on a build site. The third time in a row I have chosen a construction site over a beach for spring break, and doing so with absolutely no shame. Every first day is the same for me- a wave of anxiety, insecurity about my abilities in the carpentry field, and trying to drown all of my worries with my willingness to serve. I let my worries get the best of me for a while, and decided to take a break from my job of putting in flooring, so I ended up with Tim’s camera in my hands for most of the morning, so I got to spend some time watching everyone work on different projects. I was in awe of the passion and determination I saw in each of my teammates. Everyone was in good spirits, and doing amazing work. I hope everyone enjoys the action shots I got! In the afternoon, I was finally able to collect myself and participate in some painting activities, where I’m pretty sure I got about as much paint on myself (and in my hair) as I did on the house. It was beautiful to experience the great community that existed on the build site. I am so excited to see all that will be accomplished this week.
OK! Well today starts my 14th Habitat Trip with Lourdes. Each and every Trip that I have and the honor to go on the groups have been special and the memories amazing. It started like many of the other trips kind of chill and the need for coffee. Got to the site, opened a bag and collected the phones from the students. We prayed and broke down into small groups to do different things at different homes. I really did not get into a group, just kind of let the students get in and do things. I walked around the different areas they were working in and watched what they all were doing. I always find it interesting to see what they will do on the first day. Who will use a saw or other power tool? This group was no different from any of the other 13 I have been with. Slow at first but it does not take long for them to jump and get comfortable doing the work. They were using saws, drills, and putting flooring in like pros. Even talking with the “grumpys”, the local volunteer group of retired men, like they’d know them for years. Lunch time was here before we all knew it. They all gathered for lunch on the porch to talk and eat good southern fried chicken. Work started and again, before we all knew it, the day was over. As we all got into the van I reached for the bag of phones, looked back and told the students that I was really impressed that they did not ask for their phones at lunch, they went all day without them. During dinner we talked about the best part of the day. When it was my turn I looked at them all and told them the best part of my day was them. That I got to watch this group, like all the ones before, grow and do things that they never thought they would do, and do it with confidence. For me that is the best part of these trips. I get to know that I have helped these young men and women grow. I can not wait to see what this group does this week and what memories we make. In the end, I get to add another group to my Lourdes Habitat family. Like the others I will watch with pride as they go out into the world knowing that I had some little part in their lives.