Hello, readers! I’m currently in the capital of Pennsylvania at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, right across the street from a beautiful view of the Susquehanna River. I’ll give you the low down of our build day today so you can get an impression of what a typical build is like here in the B&B world. Wake-up today, though normally at 7 for a build, was at 6 am so that we could get to a cafe that donated a delicious breakfast to all thirty of us. Afterwards, we walked to the work site of the day, about a mile away from the church. The site is the future home of this local Habitat’s ReStore, a popular method of revenue among Habitat for Humanity affiliates that sells donated and refurbished items back to the public. Having a ReStore allows for unrestricted funds that go to financing various Habitat costs. Our task today was to clean old fridges and ovens–secondhands donated by a local contractor renovating an apartment building nearby–and prepare them for resale, a pretty disgusting task. A lot of the fridges still had a ton of gunk in them and a couple had old cream cheese and butter in the drawers. But our group was a bunch of troopers as always and we probably scrubbed those appliances better than we can clean ourselves. After an amazing lunch of sloppy joes delivered by church members and family of a rider, almost everyone fell asleep for a good fifteen minutes. We cleaned up at around 3 and walked back to the church, after which we had free time until dinner and showers at the YMCA at 8.
On build days, we generally do whatever task the local affordable housing organizations have available for any volunteers. As a large group, we give them a lot of power in numbers and if assigned to the same site can do a lot of work efficiently in one day. However, some groups are unprepared for the bulk of volunteers we provide and as as result too many people are assigned to a simple job, which lets us finish early and have a lot of free time but which probably isn’t the best use of our time.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of
an eight day stretch of biking, which is our longest streak going without a build day so far and it’s going to be exhausting. Time for bed, bye!