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Building Camaraderie - As Well As Walls!

May 10, 2017

Three TTN members participated in this year's Habitat for Humanity Women Build Week which is always held in May.  Sue Benedict, Lynn Frimond and I met at 8:30 at the Oshara build site on Willow Back Road. There was a female crew leader, young volunteers from Americorp, staffers from Tom Udall's office and other women who had always wanted to help with construction, about fifteen of us. We were given our work belts and T-shirts and then we toured a house that was almost completed. The families who buy the houses receive no-interest loans and they have to volunteer time on the construction.

I didn't grow up in a family that built things so it was fascinating to me to learn how a house is assembled.  The boards we used to build the wall frames had all been measured, labeled and laid out ahead of time.  Xes marked the spots where we were to lay the cross boards and nail them in. Some of the women could drive in a long nail in four strokes and some of us had to hit the nail twenty times but we were cheered on whether we were handy or not. After we nailed together the wall frames, we stood them up and laid them onto the posts that dotted the edges of the floor.  

During our hardy lunch, I learned that the Americorp volunteers are paid $5.50 an hour so that they'll experience living below the poverty level. After their ten-months service, they receive a stipend to use for education.

I was impressed with how well organized the process was and how supportive everyone was. The camaraderie was exceptional and I hope more members participate next year. - Sue Burgess