Thursday morning (work day 4) began again with morning devotions, which focused on the importance and virtue of patience. After breakfast, everyone sprung to action as we can now get a picture of what work can be done during the final two days of our week at ASP.
In exciting news, several youth from St. Luke expressed an interest in learning more about becoming ASP staff members in the future. Today, Miranda M., Natalie M. & Tommy S. shadowed the ASP staff as they sent teams out in the morning and did site visits to deliver supplies and support to the work teams. Miranda M. & Michael S. are both scheduled to shadow staff members on Friday.
I made my way back to Team Simbo today. We made an extra effort to arrive early at the site to try to get working before it got too hot. Upon arriving back at the site after 2 days away, I could quickly understand why this job has been frustrating and challenging. I could see that a great deal of work had been completed, but it was primarily addressing unexpected trouble in the roof substructure. The work that was done was slow and difficult and, although a lot has been accomplished, really only brought the progress of the job back to where we thought it was on Monday.
The crew from Connecticut that was working at the same house was moved to a new project. Gabe H. & Mason M. joined me in finishing a last piece of their indoor work: re-attaching a baseboard heater to a bedroom wall. On the roof, the crew was glad for cloudy skies without rain to make conditions a little bit easier. Steve M. along with Emily L. & Kaylin B. put down some water protection over seams in the new decking and then began setting wood beams (purlins) that the new tin roofing will be attached to. The ground crew (Claire L., Gabe H. & Mason M.) provided support by cutting lumber as needed and sending it up. After lunch, I joined the roof crew. When the sun came out, it was instantly exhausting. This team (and especially Steve M. who has spent all day every day on the roof) a big shout-out!
Team Prince Edward finished tiling the kitchen floor. They were excited to find out that the last row of tile along the wall were just the right size that they did not need to be cut! Another concern about moving the refrigerator back into place under a cabinet was also relived when it was determined that the cabinets are to come down next week to allow for wall repair. When they are rehung, there will be plenty of clearance for the refrigerator. The team also spent time spreading some of the remaining stone pile in the driveway.
Team Agua had a good day of progress after the challenge of drywalling the ceiling. Conditions were good for them to get three coats of spackling done, so tomorrow will be the final sanding and painting. Work was also done on trim, which proved tricky but came together. The other big accomplishment came from cleaning the walls. Finding out that a coal furnace exploded soot throughout the house a few years ago, the team scrubbed the walls and found a much brighter room. They also took all the boxes of bric-a-brac that are to be housed in the room and laid them out in the yard and cleaned each one individually. When the team departs tomorrow, they will leave a much nicer front room!
After the work day was finished it was time for the ASP Community Picnic. The weather could not have been better and we had a lovely long evening in a local park along the Cinch River. As is tradition, we invite the families we are helping to join us for the picnic. The women that teams Agua and Simbo serve were unable to come due to health and mobility problems. Ruth, the 92-year woman Team Agua is helping sent along words of appreciation along with a food donation for the picnic. The family that Team Prince Edward is helping was able to attend and everyone was very happy to meet them. After a delicious picnic dinner, several members of Team Prince Edward went with their family to enjoy some early 4th of July festivities. Everyone else stayed at the park until dark. We played Frisbee games, laughed a lot and really enjoyed being together. This is a remarkable group of young people with just the right adults accompanying them! We’re also seeing a lot of friendships forming with youth from the Connecticut churches.
As evening settles in before our final work day, there is a relaxed sense in the air at the ASP center. Some are relaxing and reading. Some are talking with new friends. One guy is writing a blog and posting pictures to Facebook as he says good night!