Saturday, August 31, 2013

Building with YouthBuild

August 28, 2013
Build day in Palmdale, CA

Today was our last build day of the trip!! Not sure how we already got here... Lucky for us today was one of the best build days of the trip. We worked on the build site with YouthBuild students from Palmdale as well as East LA. We were also surprised by two alum who live in the area--a Providence to Seattle '04 alum and a ME2SB '11 alum. They were all amazing people and it was really great talking to some of them and getting to know them. The build directors were wonderful and patient. All of us were always doing something. We were working on the site for the new YouthBuild apartments that would house some of their students that were homeless or had unstable living conditions. There was also a wing that would house single parents with one child. In the forefront was a community center that would be a part of the complex. I was put on the framing team of the community center. Two walls were already up and one was all put together waiting to be lifted so we tackled that beast first. Once that wall was up, we started on the construction of the last wall! Eventually it was also ready to go up. It was such an awesome feeling to have all four walls of the community center up! 

Next we started sheeting it with thin sheets of wood. This required a lot of hammering and nailing. We spent the rest of the day putting up the sheeting, all working together as a team to get as much of it done as possible. It's such a satisfying feeling seeing the building slowly but surely be covered in sheeting. The afternoon sun got really hot, but overall we got about 80% of the walls covered in sheeting. As people were cleaning up, Jeff and I decided to tackle one more sheet and put it up in record time. 

Other people on the site were mixing and pouring cement, sledgehammering interior walls, and painting the exterior of buildings. Everyone felt satisfied with the work they'd done by the end of the day. This evening we made our final decisions for the allocation of grant money! The organizations won't find out about our decisions for a while so I don't really want to say anything, but I will say that I'm very happy with where we decided to allocate our money. It was really cool to be a part of such major decisions as to where our fundraised money goes. Tonight Bike & Build directors Justin and Natalie came out to meet us and spend the rest of the trip with us! It was awesome to have them back--last time we saw them was during the first week of the trip. To celebrate we had a few no smile dance offs and watched videos that we've made thought out the summer. It's been an unreal trip and it's hard to believe its winding down. 

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