Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chronicles of a World Changer part 4

Our first work day was Monday the 14th. We left the school at 7am and arrived at our work site around 7:35am, because we got lost again. (I have to say that on our way there we passed the shop where Elvis bought his first guitar!) Mrs H had obtained two gallons of bleach and a few scrubbing brushes. But we still needed a sprayer. The first one we were given didn't work. So the crew chief from next door (there was a crew working on a house just next door to us and a crew at the house across the street.) lent us his. It needed two people to work it, though, because there was a pinch in the hose. "Mischief, you work the sprayer," said Mrs. H. "and I'll get someone to work with you." "You," he said to me. "You can help me out." Why is he telling me what to do? I have seniority here! But I obeyed anyway. Anything was better than standing around.
So I pinched the hose and carried the tank as he sprayed the bleach solution on the house. As soon as we were off he struck up a conversation. "So," he said. "everyone is obviously segregated. And you and I are the outsiders." That went straight to the point. "Yeah, I've noticed." "The girls keep to themselves and the guys keep to themselves," he said. "And I don't think they like me." "They do like you," I said. "It'll just take a while for us all to get used to each other." That's just what I had to keep telling myself.
So we bleached and scrubbed the house and the shed. But we still didn't have any ladders. So we couldn't reach the high places. All this time we were getting attacked by wasps. We had gotten rid of all the visible nests already, but they just kept coming. Mischief would walk around with the wasp spray and shoot at any wasp that flew by.
We had a late lunch the first day. The people from the church also got lost on their way there. But it was very good! We offered some to Mr. Percy, but he had already eaten. I welcomed the break! It was much cooler in the shade under the carport. After a quick devotion by Montana, we got back to work.
Before lunch a construction coordinator couple had come over to help us begin the ceiling tile. The chief and Mischief went inside to work on that, while the rest of us continued outside. But after lunch the chief began calling us in by groups of two so that everyone could learn how to tile the ceiling. Blue Steel and I went in first. Mischief was the one teaching us. And this is how he did it: He held up a ceiling tile. "Male, female," he said pointing to the edges. "Do you see that?" We nodded. Then he fitted them together. "Do you see how that works?" We nodded. "Ok, go ahead and get started." We nod.....what!?? At least let us see you put up one or two before that! But he was serious. Blue Steel looked at me. "Okay," I said as I bravely stepped onto the stool. The row had already been started. All I had to do was follow the pattern. Easy, I thought. I've known how to do puzzles since before pre-school! And I found that it was as simple as that! Thank you, Lord! But I only had time to put up a few before Mrs. H came in to tell me that Nails had fallen off the ladder and hit her head. Mrs. Encourager had already given her a pack of ice and some pain killer. But I had to fill out the accident report. In all the years that I've been to World Changers no one on my crew has ever had to fill out an accident report. There is a first time for everything, I guess.
As if one accident report wasn't enough, Mischief had to burn his hand twice, get stung by wasps, and get bit by a dog. So he had a very lengthy accident report. I even searched the surrounding area with him to find the owner of the dog. I also got to know the first aid nurse when I turned in the medic kit and reports. It was a very busy first day!

Yep. And he's very proud of it.

The next morning, Tuesday, as we were sitting down at breakfast we talked about our projects. Yavanna was on the same crew as Steps and EƤrendil was on the same crew as Outdoorsman. We were talking when a guy came by and sat at our table. Dad greeted him so I figured he was from Dad's crew. Somehow, the topic switched to Summer staffing at World Changers. Oh! He's the worship leader, the one Dad had talked to the first day. How did I not recognize him? Oh, crap! Its Tuesday and I still hadn't gone out to find him. I had completely forgotten. And Dad told him to expect me. Dad looked over at me and gestured with his head. I can't ask him now. So I sat through the rest of breakfast without saying much. I'll definitely go talk to him after we get back from the work site today!
We got a lot more work done that day. However, we were bleaching and priming at the same time, which is not a good idea. This happened because we couldn't bleach the high areas yesterday. But today we had two ladders. So we were priming the lower areas of the shed and bleaching the higher areas of the shed and under the carport. Then the bleach would drip and ruin the primer. So we'd reapply the primer. It was doing the same job twice! This is madness! I was so frustrated! How hard is it to wait for the bleach to dry before you start priming? I brought this up to Mrs. H. But she was feeling the time pressure, especially since the next day, Wednesday, was only a half-day of work. I explained to her that it would take just as long because we were going over the same area twice. The problem was not time, it was that we might run out of primer. We still hadn't primed under the carport yet. Guess it didn't work.

The chief and Mischief needed a break from being inside So they came out to prime for a bit. Here is Mischief holding the ladder for the chief with his ever handy can of wasp spray. And look, he's doing the captain Morgan pose.

Here (from right to left) we have Nails and Twin priming on one side while Blue Steel and Montana bleach.

If you look closely you will be able to see why I gave her the pseudonym "Nails." She had gotten them the week before and they lasted until Thursday. I was impressed, because she was one of the hard workers. Now working hard and maintaining your nails is skill!

The police came by today to follow up on his dog bite. They had to make sure the dog had it's shots and everything. So he rode over to the owners house in the police car.

The World Changers audio/visual Staffer came by after he had left. The A/V technician is the one who makes the movie of all the projects for the week and takes the pictures. So he walked around getting footage of us working. The worship leader followed him around with the still camera taking pictures. They had to wait for Mischief to get back for the group photo.

And here we are! Your friendly neighborhood Tool Timers with our homeowner and his son behind the chair. We found out that Mr. Percy is 86 years old. He still drives and he teaches Sunday school! Everyone in the surrounding area knows him, is related to him, or goes to his church. He is a personification of what we've been learning this week: walk in the light, Christ should show through your lifestyle, reach out to those who need God's light.

Okay, this first picture was a normal one. This was the goofy one. I just sat there. Sorry. I know I'm no fun.

For this one we were supposed to do some kind of pose.

Yay, a picture of me! There aren't many pics of me because I took a lot of them with my camera. Mason took a lot of pictures, but we were usually working separately.

One down side of painting is the long cleanup. With roofing all you have to do is find a good stopping point, gather all your tools, and leave. With paining we've got to rinse the brushes and the paint pans. And we only had one hose with very low pressure. So it took a while.

Poor thing! He was so tired he slept both to and from the work site pretty much everyday. I think it was partly due to the fact that his air mattress permanently deflated Monday night. So I told him to get some of the beanbags from Mr. Bill. There was enough for the two of them. I don't think he did, though.

On our way back to the school Mrs. Encourager and Mrs. H decided to stop by Baskin' Robbins for their one dollar ice cream deal. So we all got down. But the workers there informed us that the deal began at 6pm, and it was only 5pm. So no one dollar ice cream. I didn't mind much. I just wanted to get back to the school and relax anyways. But the others were a bit sore about it. No other World Changer went down to the Baskin' Robbins that week. I guess the story got around.
We got back to the school with just enough time to shower before dinner. I also managed to write some *encouragrams. After worship I went to the staff's office to ask about the Summer Staffing. I really only had one question about the application. But they were very helpful. And one lady offered to be one of my references. I can't wait for next Summer! I hope I get accepted.

*encouragram: a note of encouragement from one World Changer to another.

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