Last night, we had dinner together at Pizaños (even the Italian restaurants have a New Mexican flair). The gang bought me a cool t shirt from the local brewpub and some pretty soaps. It was a very sweet gesture and it reinforced my decision to do this build over my birthday. I ate way too much and had a great day overall.
Today nothing crazy happened. No one was sick, no one hurt themselves at the site. Maybe the craziest thing was that it was my turn to drive the mini van (whew, I can take that off my list of "must-do's")...What I did notice and appreciate today is the power of women and the power of team work. I was wondering when I heard that this trip would be all women, whether there would be complainers, bitchy personalities, weaklings. What I have found instead is that we are a group of strong, smart, helpful, nurturing, interesting women with great stories, from varied backgrounds, locations and ages (16-60) who all want to "do good". I am so lucky to be part of this group and one of the HFH Taos '08 builders. I will never forget this experience and wouldn't have been able to do it without support from all of you.
Today we installed a great deal of sheet rock inside, but some of us also worked on adding lathe to the outside around one of the doors. We clipped strips of a metal mesh material (lathe) then nailed these strips around the doors so that the stucco has something to hold onto (we apply the stucco tomorrow! Mud Fight!!). We also met Mary, a 22 year old college student off for the summer who has worked on this house for the last month. She has known Althea ( the house's owner) for 12 years and works her butt off to help. Lunch was donated to us by Applebees today...Another local bought over two homemade sheetcakes. This community is very generous and genuinely appreciates the work we are doing here...
One of our team-members, Serena is a 53 year old Brooklynite with one of the funniest personalities (and accents) evah! She keeps us in stitches all day with her hysterical random thoughts "Wow, that guy is a real live New Mexican!" (If you picture it with her accent, it is REALLY funny). She calls us all her sisters. I tend to agree - we've all really bonded. Today Serena told me I'd meet my future husband soon. She always has "a vibe" about things...we shall see.
Tonite we went to the Rio Grande Gorge (aka the grand canyon of New Mexico) which was beautiful. We saw an amazing sunset and we got to purchase some jewelry and crafts from the local Native Americans who set up tables there. I also got some alone time with Betsy. We agreed that her first all woman HFH build worked out so well that we want to figure where are we going next year!! I suggested Alaska or Norway (somewhere cold, I guess)...
Anyway, off to bed now. Tomorrow another full day of work followed by dinner with Althea and a bunch of HFH volunteers.