June 25, 2013
Build day in Pittsfield, MA
We started our build day by walking to an overgrown lot just a few minutes from the church we were staying in. From there, we broke into assigned groups that had been decided the night before and some people left to go to a different site to do some roofing while others went to help out at the ReStore picking up and dropping off different things. The rest of us, including myself, stayed at the lot and got to work clearing out weeds and overgrown bushes to the property line. It was pretty fun hacking away at bushes and it was satisfying to see how cleared up things got when you remove a big branch or two. There were also a lot of random things that people found while clearing out the lot. Most notable were tires. We found at least 12 of them! Other found objects included box springs, a shopping cart, a plastic slide, a brick fire pit, and a marihuana plant. Yes, we found marihuana. The girl using the weed walker actually chopped most of it down without even realizing what it was. Guess that shows you how the lot was being treated before we got there. I was really ready to find a dead body the next branch I moved (luckily that didn't happen though).
The homeowners were on site with us, which was really cool. Having them there helped to put what we're doing into more perspective and to give it greater meaning. After the day was done, I was really impressed with all the work that we had accomplished. That night it was my chore groups turn to do everyone's laundry. What this entails is everyone puts their dirty laundry on a closed loop and places it on a tarp. We then take that tarp to the nearest laundromat in town and basically take it over for about an hour. While it was going, we all waited and busied ourselves with reading, writing, or in my case, needle pointing. When we brought it back, we realized that we had left a whole load in the washer so I went back with one other person and transferred it to the drier. While we were waiting we made up games to play with the extra quarters we had. Inspired by the game show Minute To Win It, we challenged each other to do different things with the quarters in a minute or less. For example, we had one minute to spin a quarter and stop it still standing with one finger three times in one minute. It was a great way to pass the time albeit maybe not the most pleasant noise for the other laundry goers to listen to. As we're playing, this guy who has been sitting near us comes up and asks if we could watch his phone that was plugged into the wall or a bit while he ran up the street for something. We kinda smiled at him and he walked off. Well, our laundry finished up about two minutes after he left and we were left standing there with our done laundry wondering if we should wait for this guy to come back, if we should just leave it, or even if we should pass off the responsibility to someone else. Not sure what to do, we sat down and decided we would wait 5 minutes and if he wasn't back by then we would leave. Luckily he came back with I the next two minutes, but it felt like we were on the show What Would You Do and the host was going to pop out of no where asking, "So you waited for him to come back even though you're laundry was done and you didn't even know the guy...why would you do that?" Overall it was a fun first night of laundry despite our minor slip up.