Monday, July 13, 2009

Frakes, Kentucky- Day 1

Our motley crew completed our first day serving in Kentucky, and it was fun. Yes, it was actually very, very enjoyable. Admittedly, I possess next to no building experience and used a hammer more today than I have in the past twelve years combined, but I managed to come through the day unscathed and without any blisters or bug bites. Two people did get stung by wasps, though, but they are fine.

Our group is serving an elderly couple whose daughter works at Henderson Settlement. The older gentleman has black lung from laboring in the coal mines, and his wife works in a nearby hospital. After navigating the mountain roads, our group arrived at the family's trailer about 9am.

After unloading our tools and checking out the supplies, Tom's first order of business was to dig a latrine for the men to use throughout the day. Tommy, the homeowner, was gracious enough to allow the four females to use the restroom inside the house. (Thank you, Tommy, for the use of your restroom and for all the hard work you put in with our crew today.)

Our job this week will be two-fold: to add vinyl siding to the family's trailer and to add a room on the back of the family's home. After Dwight and George measured for the additional room, several of the men dug trenches for the posts and beams which will act as the room's foundation. Aislinn and Virginia then began removing rocks from the area and building a stone wall behind the house.

While one group worked in the back of the trailer, another gang ripped old siding off the trailer and nailed up strips which the new vinyl siding will fit into. I have now learned to nail in the center of the oval hole when hanging vinyl siding and to not make it too tight so the siding has room to fluctuate with the weather.

We also had to rip off the old metal shutters, frame the windows with wood, and nail boards onto the trailer to which we will affix the new siding. Throughout the day, we had to dodge wasps (We went through two cans of wasp spray by lunch) and even had a bat fly out from behind a shutter.

Here is the front and back of the trailer at the end of the day. Hopefully, you will be able to see much more progress being made tomorrow.

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