Monday, June 27, 2011

Mission Trip Day 3: The Build Begins!

Today marks our first full day at the mission site, ironically located in a town called Mission. We arrived last night in time for a pizza dinner. After dinner, part of our evening prayer service was to play, best thing worst thing. I think we will do it every night, so now I find myself putting lots of or daily events into one of those two categories. So here are my guesses at what a few of our best things and worse things from the last 24 hours might be.

Several of our nominations for "worst things" could involve sleep, or lack of it, last night.

It was hot when we arrived and the kids all left the windows open in their dorm rooms. During the night, it got REALLY REALLY cold and windy and most of the kids were not happy this morning. There is a leak in the trailer where the older boys sleep that made things uncomfortable. The good news is that nothing was REALLY terrible, they weren't in any danger, etc. so these are the shared irritants that force some group bonding over shared war stories. Also. we will all be good and tired tonight...and hopefully wise enough to close the windows.

The "worst thing" for the morning, our habitat leader was pretty disoriented and didn't seem to know we were coming. He was expecting a group our exact size from Iowa... but they never showed up. Odd that he still didn't have a plan for a group pur size considering that while he wasn't expecting us, he WAS expecting this Iowa group. Maybe Tenesseans just can't work as well as Iowans? Either way, I suspect all our hearts sank as he said, repeatedly, that he didn't think he had much for us to do this week. He then proceeded to ask what tools we brought, when habitat told us over and over NOT to bring any! Besides, it is a little difficult to bring your skill saw and bag of hammers in your carry-on luggage!

In the "best thing" category, there ended up being plenty of hammers and plenty of work...actually the PERFECT amount of work....enough to keep busy but also enough to be able to rest often and quit early.

Another best thing is that we built a HOUSE (our a significant part of one) together as a team. We had been told that we would be split among several sites, but our entire group is currently working in the same place.

Also, that same place we are all working is only a few steps from where we are all staying. We thought we would have to drive 20 minutes to the work site. Not a big deal either way, but it was nice to be able to walk "home" to grab a sweat shirt or more sunscreen, or both as the weather changes quickly.
Lets make the whole "needing a sweat shirt and sunscreen" a split decision between best and worst. It was windy and cold and a little hard to take at points. However, the wind also made it pleasant while you we working hard slinging a hammer, so no one got too hot. Then again, it was so pleasant, that many of us didn't consider that that big yellow ball that was keeping us from getting too cold wasbeaming down on us and burning our skin. At the same time, what the sun didn't burn the wind probably did. Being in a Native American community halfway into the summer, means that the stores aren't really stocking up on sunscreen for a community that either already bought sunscreen (at the start of te season) or has naturally burn resistant skin. Hopefully our couple of bottles last us!

The sky is so BIG, so open, so amazing. Today it has been full of clowds and you can just see them moving for miles in every direction.  It is already on my best list and I hear it gets even better at sunset.

Back to the build. Best, best, best..we started the day with a 3 wall structure and we built and put up the entire 4th wall...and the window supports...and the door supports today. We also met Harlee, whose family is going to live in the house we are building.

I am smelling dinner cooking and based on what my nose tells me, it will also end up in the best column. Also, Paul, our team member who drove from Tennessee to South Dakota....all night....straight through, arrived a short time ago and tonight Father Charles will arrive. Having the whole group safely together will certainly be a best for today.

We have begun the process of showering (a slow process due to a combination of old plumbing and lots of sweaty workers).  Soon our group will all be clean, well fed, and tired from a day of helping provide shelter.   I can't think of much better "best thing" than that....but then again Jonathon is getting a  fancy new french braid hairstyle at this very moment, so maybe I should reserve that designation for a little bit longer!

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