Final Few Days for Carson Graham School
If you build it they will come. After nailing and hammering, measuring and cutting (and measuring once more) the houses are finally up. It’s amazing how at the beginning of the week we looked at the lumber pile dauntingly and now its a full how- painted, trimmed, nailed, and touched up. Everyone would wake up early in the morning and head to the worksite, some with tired faces and yawning. However, as soon as we see the kids everything changes, for the better. They help us paint their houses and hammer in some nails. To us, it may not seem as a lot, but to them it’s the world! It’s amazing when you think about it, though. They’ll always look at that certain corner in the house and say “I helped with that”. And you can’t build a house- home- without all four walls, a sturdy base and a roof. They helped build the house. Their house. Ofcourse we’re all willing to take a break from everything and have a good old paint fight! Team two piled onto the bus at the end of the day covered in paint and smiles. A full on paint war happened and even the family had joined in, paint smeared all over their faces. What a break indeed (if there’s no paint at the end of the job for touch ups, you know why!). Speaking of breaks, the birthday party we planned for Paula was the perfect end of the day celebration. She was beaming from ear to ear when we brought out the pinata and blind folded it. We lifted poor old Cinderella into the air with a rope- one person holding onto one end on the roof and the other on a ladder, pulling tight (cough, Mr. Olson, cough). Shortly after, Cinderella was beheaded and candy poured onto the floor. We ended the celebration in singing Happy Birthday (in English) and everyone giving her hugs. The next day it was back to work again, play times included, and man oh man did everyone work! Even though we woke up to cloudy skies and light rains (well, light rain in Vancouver BC terms) our spirits were high and we were all excited to finish the houses and do some touch ups. It seemed like every time we turned around more people had showed up to help, whether or not they knew the family or not. The day went by quickly and by the end of it everyone was cleaning up their sites, for the last time. It hasn’t really set in for anyone that tomorrow we’ll go to the site and not have to hammer a nail, cut any wood or paint anymore touch ups. That’s not to say, however, that tomorrow we wont be doing anything! We still have to bring in the tables and chairs we raised money for and put some mattresses on the the bunk beds (and twin bed for the parents) we made fresh today. Lets not forget the showers and bathrooms that were on site when arrived this morning that the families spent all day painting! I guess that’s why tomorrow is called Decoration and Dedication day. At the end of tomorrow we’ll be handing the keys over to the families and they shall officially be theirs. And with that we’ll leave the next day. It’s weird that it’s all happened in such a short period of time. It’s not many days for us and we’re all burnt to a crisp but it means the world to those families and that’s all that matters. We all came here to build houses, but we’ve done more. I think, personally, we’ve built them homes- somewhere to grow and live and become the doctors and teachers that they want to be. We’ll all catch up on the sleep we’ve lost and our muscles will heal, our muscles will heal and our burns will fade to tans. In return, they’ll keep the house and together we’ll keep memories. And that’s all life is- memories. None of us will forget this and our only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner.