Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 17 2012 Building An Instant House For A Needy Family

As North Americans we are used to instant coffee, instant service at the McDonald's drive through, instant videos on television, instant photos, instant e-mail on our Blackberry's, really instant everything.

I remember when we built out home 28 years ago in Leawood, Kansas.  I was so tired by the time it was all over because it took forever.  Nine months of going to check on it every day, Monday through Saturday for nine long months and finally it was completed.

BUT today I experienced a different feeling, the feeling of helping to build an "Instant Home".

My contribution to the effort was a warm body, Oscar Acosta, to help with all the building, home-made beans and my famous Carrot  and Chocolate Cupcakes and tuna sandwiches for snacks. My friend in "crime" Eileen Agurcia called on Thursday to chat and as usual I was able to talk her into coming to help me with a project and as usual she wanted to do something extra, so she brought the roasted chickens for lunch, the ice for the cold drinks, cold drinks and four more eager helpers plus herself.

Mark Connell is the leader of this rough band of Instant Home builders.  Our fearless leader!

Eight guys showed up from Auburn University to use their spring break helping others.
Those GRINGOS are the really white sunburned ones in all the photos.

At first the wood is dumped off and it looks a little unorganized, BUT it isn't.
Sixteen slotted boards on the left, sixteen slotted boards on the right, sixteen slotted boards on the back and sixteen slotted boards in front of the future house.  All remaining boards stay on the street waiting to be used.

Then holes are dug and the square posts are set on the corners and along the sides.  

Yes they do use a level.

Then braces are placed along the four sides.

Then they dig two more holes on each side for more side posts, using the slotted boards as a straight line.

The ground is hard so they use the long steel pointed things to loosen the dirt and then pull the dirt out with post hole diggers.

See the GRINGO?  Red hair, blue eyes... The other one is a GRINGO also.

Another GRINGO!

This is my friend Eileen Agurcia!  The really tall, skinny one.  I am jealous of those long legs!  She rides her Harley with no problem, meanwhile I have to stand on my tip toes to reach the ground on a motorcycle.

Many of the neighbor women showed up to watch the show.  This "colonia" (neighborhood) has no electricity. That means there is no television, so we were the show of the day.

GRINGOS working side by side with Hondurans to build this home for a single Christian woman and her four sons.

Now is the time to level the studs.

Two six inch nails in each floor stud connects it to the wall studs.

At this point, we are getting close to start working on the walls.

Even the young neighbor kids got in on the action!

Finally all the floor studs are in and now it is time to put feet on them.

Feet going on, notice the line of people working.

Finally it is time for the side to start going up.  At this point we have spent 1 1/2 hours and now we start to see quick changes.

Four people on the inside pulling the boards tight four on the outside nailing the grooved wood into place at each stud.

I turned around taking photos on all four sides and when I turned back around the side walls were already three boards high.

My friend Eileen Agurcia on her knees helping.  What a gal!
They did not cut any boards.  Doing three wall at once, the extra wood overlaps on one side of the front while it hits flush on the other side. The notched wood on one side wall overlaps to the front, the other to the back.

Before we ever got the side walls finished, Mark was notching the first floor board. Yes, the volunteer is using a "moto sierra" a chain saw.  That is the only kind of saw which was used on the entire building!

Mark Connell crawls up on the building and cuts the square posts off flush in the front of the house, with a chain saw.

Meanwhile everyone else is putting nails in the floor boards.

At the back of the building, he cuts off the square posts, but a foot above the side wall.  The roof will slant towards the front of the house and it has a one foot slant to an eighteen foot wall.

Everyone gets out of the way because you never know which way the wood post piece will fall.

Everyone back at work again nailing down more flooring.

See how the boards are sticking out on the left front of the house.  A few minutes later with the chain saw, they cut those extra edges off the front wall but in the meanwhile these uncut edges served as a ladder for the guys to crawl up on top of the house to frame in the roof.

The floor is in and now it is time to work on the roof.

And finish the back wall.

But first they have to fill in the triangles on the top side of the walls which are the result of the slope in the roof.

Everyone worked together.

I sat and talked with the neighborhood women and took photos.

Oh, where is the door?  And the window?  I bet you thought we forgot didn't you?

But we didn't!  That is one f the last things they do.  

They put frames around where the new doors and windows will go and then they cut with the chain saw.
Then they put the hinges on!

And then they test them to make sure they work.

So while the guys were on top putting the tin roof on, the others were cutting the door and the window.

And Eileen meanwhile had found a friend.

She shared her hat, while grandma watched on.

Then with the house finally built we prayed a dedication prayer and blessing over the house.

The workers and the family stood in a big circle....

And we all prayed...

The final photo before we said, "goodbye".

If you or your church group or your Lion's Club or Rotary Club want to sponsor a house, they cost about $1,750.  You can send the money r you can send a team and they bring the money for several houses.  This house took about 4 1/2 to 5 hours to build.

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