2001 Build-a-thon, Day 3 (Tues, May 8)

My first day on the actual Build-A-Thon site (we rotated out to outlying sites so to take advantage of the numbers of workers available and to keep everyone busy every day).

Special fun: A reporter came out to the camp afterward and did a write up on the ‘Thon. I got my picture in the paper, and was quoted (as a writer, I have a habit of speaking slowly and in nicely quotable bites to other writers, since I know how much easier it makes life for the guy on the other end of the pen). The pic later won the photographer some sort of reward, and it’s posted online. You can see my exhausted mug here. I can’t find the article itself online in any easily accessible form, though, although I’ll keep looking.

Day 3, Tuesday

Cereal today. Yes! (Raisin bran). First day on my assigned site. Met Tom (from Georgia) and Doug (from Lynchburg, VA). Along with Seth and Mike [2 of my fellow Durham group members], they’re house leaders, although Doug is unofficially so. Today we did a lot of what I did yesterday. The house had most walls up when we arrived [not sure what they started with, but note that this is after only one workday – houses go up fast during a build-a-thon]. We put up the rest. Alicia and I (she’s from Lynchburg) worked together all day. She’s a volunteer co-ordinator and works mainly in the office. I swore to make a construction worker out of her by day’s end and I feel that I have succeeded reasonably well! We put blocking in the crawlspace where the joists hit on top of a vent, framed and installed a window opening, used the chopsaw, slammed nails (8’s and 16’s) [nail gauges, 16’s being the big framing nails and 8’s being slightly smaller, meaning Alicia was doing real work, not just whacking in little staples], moved and hoisted trusses and just generally had a great day. Habitat gets its own specially-canned water in aluminum cans! Really cool.

A church-supplied lunch is truly a thing of beauty – I had pimiento cheese sandwiches, corn chips, cookies (snickerdoodles!), pickles and sweet tea. Yeah baby! We got a lot done today and at dinner (grits, grilled veggies, coleslaw and BEN & JERRY’S ICE CREAM BARS!) Marcel said that the outlying sites – Tarboro and Wilson – were ahead of schedule and that they’re opening another site. Hooahh!

Went down to the lake, dibbled my toes. The bottom is mucky-yucky, but the water’s cool and felt good on my achy feet. Got interviewd by N&O [Raleigh News and Observer] folks who are doing a series on this site (Build-A-Thon sites) and Americorps are [going to be featured in] the first installment. Cool! Possible rumblings of open mike do-thingy Thursday.

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