Friday, July 18, 2008

house builds

Ok, so, house-builds. The way it works is people fill out an application talking about how poor they are and how many kids they have, and then a group comes down from California (for example) and then the poorest family on the list gets a house built!

So, near as I can tell, people on house-building teams come in three types. There's the teenage girls (and me) who are cheerful and willing, but who are only really useful for swinging hammers and paint brushes. Also, we can tar roofs. Joel refers to us as 'worker bees.' Then there's the teenage boys who know a thing or two about squaring a frame and finding the on-switch on our one power tool. And then there's the middle-aged men who know what they're doing, which either makes it easier or much MUCH harder.

So this one fellow had bought a comically over-sized hat at the globos, more as a joke than anything else, and then he lent it to me to wear on the first day of the house-build. Considering the burn I got in the hour before I borrowed the hat (avec SPF 45, no less!), I'm pretty sure the hat saved my life, and also, it is awesome, so I've been wearing it ever since. Serious, it's like I'm walking around with my own personal palm tree. I have all kinds of love for this hat, and when this man and his group and his hat leave on Friday, I'll have to go and buy my own.

Joel also bought himself a hat, but last weekend instead of next weekend, because he is prescient.

Besides a deep and abiding fondness for hats, I've also learned in the past week to swing a hammer. There's two other skinny, useless girls (bless their hearts), and we're all swearing under our breath because the nails keep bending, or getting stuck in knots, or people keep trying to teach us how to hammer properly (see: middle-aged men who know what they're doing). I have a blister on my thumb and my forearm is sore, but, as Joel kindly pointed out, I have to take many more swings at a nail than most people do.

So, at the end of the first day, we pretty much just had the walls and roof bits assembled and sitting in a pile.

By the end of the second day, we'd knocked those walls together and slapped a roof on top, and also, I did some tarring, and I really just wanted to post this picture because I AM THE BRIGHTEST THING IN THE WORLD! Look at me! I look like ice cream!

We spent the third day mostly inside, putting up some center walls to make rooms (plural) and slapping together some bunk beds and a kitchen table and some shelving.

The last day we wired up the place so that it had lights, knocked out a couple of windows, and painted the thing PINK OHMYGOODNESSITISPINK! And she chose this color.

So the she for whom we were building the house (along with her many childrens) cooked lunch for us every day, and on the first day there were bologna sandwiches *dry heave*. And then on the second day there were tamales, and then on the third day there was pasole, and then on the fourth day there were floutas and also one less chicken running around the yard.

So. I am painty and sore, and have tar on my pinkitypink shorts (and also on your painting sunglasses, boo, which I borrow-stole and still have), but I can hammer mostly without hurting myself and I can cut things with a saw. Look out, world.


Rebekah said...

those sunglasses-avec-les-paintbits are now the most constructorly-adept girly sunglasses in the world. They have seen many 'a house/door/railing sanded/primed/painted as well as built and tarred, apparently. They may even enable superhuman constructing abilities.

Mum said...

Joel is a sweetie, hey?
'Joel kindly pointed out, I have to take many more swings at a nail than most people do.'
This will make him a good dr, he is pragmatically empathetic giving you honest credit. Gotta love you Joel!

I'm imagining a pink house with curly nails smashed in - permanent punctuation marks. =0)
How absolutey brilliant for the woman-of-the-house to pick pink! If her house is the only one this colour, everyone will know she is special. Just like you and your worker bee pink shorts on the hot roof smashing nails.

Luv ya Rachie!