Today is our final build day and Serena started off our morning with a typical Serena quote: "I'll be crying in my mud". I think that is definitely how we are all feeling about today!
We also had a nice treat - Charles (the owner of the lodge) leading us in Amazing Grace on the piano which we all joined in as a sing along. It definitely set the mood - it's our last day of building. It sounds a bit hokey but it was a somber moment for all of us.
I was asked to write in the team journal today so I look forward to sharing my viewpoint with the group!
This morning we really pushed ourselves to finish wall #5. And we were done with it by 10:30. Even though we said we would take it easy for the rest of the day, we pushed hard and finished wall #6! I am so proud of myself and of the team for getting it done, especially since we started the day at 7:15 saying that we probably wouldn't even try to do that wall today. Roger has told us we have done so much great work he didn't want another group to "mess it up." I partnered with Roger for my last day and really felt like an apprentice learning a new skill. So if anyone is looking for help building an adobe style home, give me a call. :)
After our morning break we decided to push through in teams and do the second wall.. We were done by 2:20. We were nervous about rain...we could see thunder clouds in the distance and if it rained it could ruin one or both walls if they weren't dry enough. Luckily we heard thunder, but didn't see rain until our drive back to the lodge. We had an angel watching over us.
We also got to meet Seda today! What a treat to meet her. She was in the car and not very alert but we all took turns saying hello and touching her hand (she responds well to touch). She has to consume (through a feeding tube) a mostly high fat diet because of the threat of seizures - apparently that helps keep them at bay. Tom, her caretaker and a HFH volunteer was driving her and Althea from the farmer's market to stop by and say hello. Seeing her once again helped to reinforce how important this week of hard work has been and makes me want to do more for others and sign up for another build soon.
What an accomplishment on our last day to see such a difference in Althea's home and to know that WE have made a difference. While we were at the house this week, we finished one mud layer of all the external walls, plus a ton of sheetrock and internal framing work. We did a lot!
t was hard to say goodbye. Aimee burst in to tears when we said goodbye to Roger - it was definitely an overwhelming thought that it was almost over. At the end of the day we headed back to the plaza for more shopping - picked up a few souvenirs... Dinner at Graham's Grill - we have been so lucky to have such great food while we were here. Roger ended up surprising us and joined us for dinner. He told us we did the most work ever of any other group that's he's worked with for Habitat. We ate a lot (for a change...) And laughed even more. Serena presented a ceremonial cactus to Betsy to represent a typical Serena x-rated joke from the beginning of the week. We laughed our butts off!!
After dinner, 1/2 the group went back to the lodge while 1/2 the group went to the solar festival. Very cool hippie atmosphere - we stayed for about an hour listening to music and headed back to the lodge for a few hours sleep before waking up early tomorrow for the hot air balloon ride!
Things I will miss when I am back home:
1) Serena's many funny quotes said in her great New Yawk accent. As Stef said, Serena could be giving a eulogy and we would still be laughing.
2) Our morning stretches led by Betsy and Aimee.
3) Hearing Roger and Paul (from Habitat) tell us how proud they were of us and how we were such a fantastic team.
4) Starburst/granola bar/apple/tortilla chip breaks.
5) Stef's way of swearing PG style... "mother french!"
6) All the songs we broke into on the roof and around the house (We are Family, Hokey Pokey, It's Raining Men [Mud], etc).
7) Everyone gathering around the couches for breakfast every morning.
8) Laura and Mel playing the guitar
9) Getting sweaty and working our butts off combined with laughing til our stomachs hurt day after day!
10) Working every day with this group of women I am happy and lucky enough to call friends.
Each morning someone reads a quote that is meaningful to them. Today because it was our last day, we had three:
Mary: "No WOman can help others without helping herself." - ralph waldo emerson
Laura: "Today was good, today was fun, tomorrow is another one." - Dr Seuss
Deb: "A leash cannot hold your mind from running." -zenpuppy. (She had this message on a tank top she brought with her).
All is good in NM... Tomorrow we get back from hot air ballooning at 12 then horseback riding in the afternoon. Our final dinner together and we head to the airport on monday! Have good night.