Today (Tuesday June 30) was our first day of work at our #ASP2014 sites!
I was a member of Team Simbo today. The home we are working on was a short drive from the ASP center.
We are doing work on the home of an older woman who has significant health problems for which she has trouble getting around and needs oxygen. She lives alone but a home nurse that is with her for part of the day and some regular visitors that help and support her. There is another work crew from Connecticut also working at this house. Our job is to continue replacing the roof. Our initial assessment indicated that there is two layers of roof on the house (2 layers of both shingles and wood). The main concern is that the beams beneath are not capable of bearing the weight of adding another layer (we will be putting on a tin roof). Early in the day, one of the ASP staff arrived for a site visit and we had a chance (both teams together) to introduce ourselves and each share our hopes and expectations for the week (both related to the work and to our faith journeys) along with our response to what we would fill a kiddie pool with if we could choose anything. The team worked together, half on the roof removing shingles and roof deck and half on the ground managing the debris. As old roofing was removed, we found ourselves faced with the challenge of water damage to the beams underneath.
Team Agua took on the task of renovating a room in the home of a very nice 92-year old woman who has lived in the home for 65 years. The group removed old drywall and did work to stabilize the beams in order to hang new walls as the week unfolds. The room is filled with a large amount of decorations and bric-a-brac that is very important to the woman, so the team took pictures of everything in the room so that it can be set up just as she likes it when the work is completed. Another team from Connecticut is working on the roof at the same house as Team Agua.
Team Prince Edward traveled to a house high on one of the local foothills. They met a couple with several animals, including a friendly horse. Their work will be primarily in the kitchen and they are starting by replacing the floor. The old floor was removed and two veterans from last year, Sam. M. and Gillian H., were perfectly suited to crawl under the house when new supports were being added under the floor. New subfloor material was put in place to allow the kitchen to be usable overnight and the work will continue through the week.
After we returned to the ASP center and had showers (Wow! Hot water this year!) we had dinner and then joined everybody for the evening gathering. Mike S. and I, along with 2 volunteers from Connecticut led everyone in singing “Country Roads”, “Blessed be Your Name” and “Sanctuary”. One of the ASP staff shared his testimony/faith story.
We ended the night with an incredible surprise taste of Applachia. In search of ice cream, we found Ma & Pa’s Drive In. In addition to great milkshakes and cones, it was “Bluegrass Jam” night. Several local neighbors show up every Monday with guitars, banjos, mandolins, lap steels, etc. and just play whatever comes to mind. They pulled several of us out for some “flatfooting” on the plywood dance floor. It was a remarkable way to end our first day of service. Everyone had a good start to their week and we are all ready to rest and do it again tomorrow. In fact, it’s 10:58…so lights will be out in 2 minutes. I’ll be breaking curfew in order to keep you in the loop…so good night!