Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sweet, Sweat, and Bittersweet

Pictures: Nancy breaking block; the Future Owner, two local kids in front of her existing home; Signing a soccer ball gift; Nancy and Dave (ref: Tuesday's entry); Dave and house; mural in church schools kid area; Daryl and a (tired) young man.

Today was the last day of construction. Now our team is getting into its groove - at the end of the day, we are tired, but not too sore. So, it wasn't too tough of a physical day, but it was a little of a roller coaster ride emotionally.

Last Fall, when we started the trip, the goal was to build 40 houses. After we got here, we were told that it took 1 1/2 days to build a house. After we arrived on site, we realized that it was going to be tougher than we thought (the concrete blocks had not arrived on the first day). So on that first day, we were used to assist other teams, but unfortunately, we didn't get our assigned house until the second day.

So the toughest part of the day was the slow-dawn realization that we were not going to get our house completed.

During the day, there was a ribbon cutting, PR-type event at a house across the street (for one of the houses that another Crossroads team built). A couple of us stayed in our house laying block -- we figured that the US would be well represented and we really, really wanted to get the house done. (as an aside, a guy named Mark from another construction team was walking around the site, saw that we were still building, and then began mixing mud for us -- that was impressive).

But, house-completion wasn't to be.

The construction superintendent assurred us that the house actually was livable now -- so that was good (and I don't think that he was just being polite) -- but to have literally handed the keys over would have been great.

The improvement of relationships was of paramount importance and that was started on Day 1 and continues. However, the American civil engineer would have also liked a tangible conclusion.

Bittersweet conclusion.

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