After I got over the initial view of Marie Luz’s “plastic” home (see prior post) it was time to dive in and build her a new one. The crew of people that assembled that morning were from her church, the one that Jennifer pastors. Before we started though a prayer was said – blessing the ground, the house and the people that were there to help. What a truly great way to start.
Two of the women started by taking a hand scythe (see the tools below) and scraping the land by hand to remove the weeds. Are you kidding me? Painstaking work – bent over the entire time – inch by inch. I was certainly counting my blessings knowing that was not my assignment. I wasn’t “allowed” any sharp objects! Can you see why ??!!
There were no blueprints or plans! Just the visual image in the minds of the men that would call the shots on this construction site. They dug holes for the wood posts that would be set in the ground providing the base of the home. This would keep it a few inches off the ground for now until money could be raised to buy the concrete that would be poured for the floor. The hard soil was no match for the post hole digger that would cut through the earth under the power of these men with a purpose. They made it look easy. I tried it once. No, not digging an entire hole, but just one attempt at getting the tool to remove the dirt one time. Yeah – not so much. I couldn’t even break the soil. So I “left it” to the men. Gratefully.
I kept bothering them for a job. Any job. Antonio – the “construction supervisor” smiled and asked if I could cut the boards for the siding. Absolutely. No problem. I had used a circular saw many, many times before. But clearly I wasn’t thinking. There was no electricity! And the smile that came over Antonio’s face was priceless…he could tell that I realized I would be using a hand saw and cutting all the boards one by one powered by muscles. Making two cuts on each end of the boards I sawed through 130 boards. My arms were killing me and I was sure my right hand would be covered with blisters by morning. But I tell you this. I never felt better about completing a job in my entire life. When you put it all into perspective and realize you are taking the focus off of you and focusing on the needs of another – well that it enough for me.
The sun bore down on our construction site and there was no hiding from the piercing rays and heat and it was only 8 am. Yikes. No wonder we started so early in the morning. I was never so glad when they said breakfast was ready. I could take a break without them thinking that I couldn’t cut it in the heat!!!