Sunday, March 10, 2013

We Made It!

We made it back yesterday!  Everyone slept on the way back yesterday, so there aren't any fun pictures to share.  But we're back in Bethlehem and safe and sound!

Thank you so much to the construction crew down in Sumter!  Without their help and guidance, none of the work we completed would have happened.  Their patience throughout the week helped all of us learn basic skills and even overcome some of our fears.

Thank you to Derek, the Executive Director from Sumter, for helping to organize the week and Collegiate Challenge as a whole.

Thank you to Tim and everyone at Holy Comforter for opening up your church to everyone so we would have a place to sleep and eat and relax every day.

Thank you to everyone who provided delicious meals throughout the week.

Thank you to our chaperones, Ashley and Luke, who not only drove us both ways on the trip, but also spent time with us each day, made sure we were safe, and helped us out on site.

Thank you to Nicole and Katie back here at Moravian for helping to plan and organize most of the trip so that it was able to happen.

We wish the Maxfield family and the other family that gets selected the best of luck in their new homes and we hope that they enjoy the time spent together, both working on their home and living in it.

We are all thankful that we got the chance to travel to South Carolina, meet each other, and build friendships in addition to homes, communities, and hope, in the true spirit of Habitat for Humanity.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Last Day on the Site - Let's Make It Count!

Hello!  This is Jenn and Dan writing today!  Today was the final day on the site and we were working by ourselves because the Christopher Newport students were spending the day in Charleston.

Before we started working on the houses today, Bob showed us one of the finished houses in the neighborhood.  In addition, Bob also shared with us some interesting trivia and facts about Habitat for Humanity.  Did you know that Habitat Sumter has built a house in 19 days, and that Habitat in Guam has built a house in under four hours?!

We primarily worked on the roof of the second house today.  Bob showed us how to cut and hoister the "L" supports onto the trusses.

Karen takes a break from the trusses to smile for a photo!

While the "L" supports were being installed on the trusses, Sam and the others hammer in some dead wood into the frame.

Today, Luke took the opportunity to climb up into the trusses as well.

Alyssa holds the wood as a volunteer Merryl cuts the wood.  Merryl has been volunteering with Habitat for quite some time and has helped out in as many ways as he can.  Currently, he is able to help with a lot of the sawing and has sawed wood for all of the houses in the neighborhood we were working in this week.

Alyssa and Ryan prepare the nails that will anchor the beam into the frame of the house.  This will allow the trusses to remain in their correct location when the drywall is installed.

Drew pushes the beams up into the frame while Jenn, Dan, and a few others patiently wait to align and hammer them in place.

Everyone gets together for a final group shot with the on-site crew with our second house.  We then took the opportunity to take many more pictures.

All of the students in the front window.

The Moravian Crew with the second house and the sign.

Luke and Ryan - the lovebirds, sharing one final moment of their bromance before the final departure back to Pennsylvania.

Alyssa and Ruby with Drew - stoic.

The Backseaters - Best vocal group ever!

Jenn and Ryan - team leaders.  Bob said "I heard of sticking your nose to the grind, but this is ridiculous!"

We were about to take a quick photo in the morning with everyone from CNU stopped by for a final goodbye!  We even got both houses!


This is Alyssa and Ryan writing the blog today!

This is a picture of our group in Charleston SC. Here we are amidst the beautiful old buildings, about to start our tour with Steve. Steve was a member of one of the churches who fed us dinner and generously offered to give us the inside tour of Charleston. He is a retired history teacher so he had a lot to share.

Charleston is located by a large, sparkling bay, perfect for sailing, watching the dolphin that came close to the docks, and taking scenic group photos.

This is a place called rainbow road, famous for its Skittles colored houses. It seemed that this row of brightly colored houses is depicted in just about every painting and post card sold in Charleston. Fun fact: These houses cost a LOT of money.

This is a candy store that offered taffy, home-made chocolates, and South Carolina's famous pralines. Pecan pralines are a must have treat. Fun fact: This store offers free samples of pralines and will offer you a sample of pralines every time you walk in, no matter how frequent you walk in and out, and even if you are holding your recently purchased pound of pralines in your hands. I love South Carolina.

Recommended by Steve, RB's Seafood is located on the water. With the beautiful view, excellent seafood, and Southern hospitality, we had a great time. It just took a bit of explaining when we arrived that it was RB's not Arby's, which would have been rather silly.

We branched out into separate groups after a brief coffee break and found a dock on the bay. After many pictures of the nearby bridges and battleship, time on the giant public swing, games of "Look how close I am to this seagull," (Ryan won) we paused for this cutesy photo. How nice!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Windy Wednesday

Hello! This is Ruby, Jess, and Karen writing today!

So last night, after our delicious dinner, things got pretty intense in the game room. Luke and Ryan teamed up and beasted everyone at Foosball. We also enjoyed spending time with our new friends from Christopher Newport in an intense game of Mafia.

 Luke and Ryan battle Ruby and Alyssa, while Jess referees.

Everybody's hangin' out!

Ryan was having trouble sleeping on the hard floor, so he took a trip to Walmart to purchase a flowery, pink pool raft. Being a "tough" man, he refused the assistance of the girls air pumps and insisted on blowing it up himself. However, he had a little trouble...

Today we were welcomed to the work site by a cold blast of wind. Despite the cold conditions, we were very productive. The two main projects we worked on today were putting up the first trusses on the one house, and nailing up boards to help with insulation installation on the other house. We had a DELICIOUS home-made hot lunch served by a generous volunteer, complete with THREE different desserts: brownies, toffee bars, and banana pudding. 

 Both teams worked together to lift the truss onto the roof. 

 Alyssa was the brave soul who volunteered to stand up on the roof to hold and nail the truss down.

Putting up the second truss was just as successful as the first! 

 Jenn working hard nailing in the truss.

All the ladies supervise as Luke nails in a board.

Dan nailing while Ruby diligently holds the ladder stable.

Nailing in more insulation-blocking boards below the roof.

 A concerned Ryan tries to warm up all the freezing-cold girls.

 And now Ryan is entertaining all the ladies by singing into his sledge-hammer microphone.

Jess and Alyssa pause for a fun picture.

Tonight we will be going to another church for a home-made southern fried chicken dinner! Look for pictures on Friday, because tomorrow we will be heading to Charleston for the day! :) 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 2: Much Warmer

Last night, we were lucky enough to have the members of the Holy Comforter Church make us Chicken Tetrizini for dinner.  It was delicious.  
Deja, Kayla, Karen, and Sam enjoy time together during the meal.

We successfully made it through day 2! Temperatures were much warmer and the rain held out. A lot of progress was made on both the houses. The roof on one of the houses is almost complete and the trusses in the other house are ready to be put up first thing tomorrow morning. Blogging today is brought to you by Kayla, Deja and Sam.
The guys making us our first meal of the day! Ryan was proud of his "boiling brown bacon". 
I started my morning off eventful as I (Kayla) tried to conquer my fear of heights on the roof with Ruby and one of our construction volunteers Drew. 
Jenn joined us on the roof too. 
Later in the day Karen, Alyssa and Dan decided to check out the view and help finish the roof. 
This picture shows the same group from above looking through the roof into the inside of the house. 
Jenn was kind enough to take a picture of some of the girls eager to work. 
Dan and Bob "the builder", the construction supervisor, working on the jacks for the frame of one of the houses. 
Ashley, Jess, Kayla, Deja and Sam behind the bars. This room will eventually be a storage closet. 
Safety first! We learned this week that you must always have a spotter when someone is on a ladder. 
Jess and Kayla working on a header for one of the houses. 
Sam carefully nailing a board for the porch of one of the houses. 
Alyssa and Karen posing for a quick picture. 
The group working on the porch. 
Ryan was lucky enough to not only have one spotter but two! 
Dan has earned the nickname Sleeping Beauty on this trip. He can sleep anywhere, even on the roof! 
Nothing like some Mickey D's after a long hard day at the site. Dessert before dinner (hey it is break right?) 
Ryan slaving away for the second time today making us Chicken Alfredo for dinner. 
Karen and I cutting up chicken to help Ryan as Deja supervised. 
Some of the group getting ready for dinner.