Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring Break In Ft. Myers

Spring Break in Florida conjures up students searching for sandy beaches and fun in the sun.  Yet, instead of a week of self-gratification, two companies of students have labored alongside us this week as we built four homes for low-income families in Fort Myers, FL.

Thirty-seven students from the University of Hartford left the cold temperatures of Connecticut for a working holiday with Habitat for Humanity.  Tim and I drove up to the job site on our first day to find a big bus pulling away from the curb after disgorging the group.  

Clad in tank tops and tennis shoes instead of sturdy boots and jeans, they wrapped one house with Tyvek and installed insulation in another.  

Then they moved on the next day to another location for a fresh service project.  One of the girls, Hilary, told me they had a different service project scheduled for each day this week.  We were lucky they chose our Habitat build on Tuesday.

This morning the Honor Society from Mariner High School in nearby Cape Coral showed up to work.  

I toiled with a trio of high school boys to install windows in one of the homes.  Planing the window frame with the use of a power saw was their favorite chore of the day.  They were quick learners and I was sad to see them go.

For this build in Fort Myers, our group of Care-a-Vanners (Habitat volunteers who travel from job site to job site in their recreational vehicles) is small; there are only five of us.  

I have trailed after Janet all week like a baby duck scurrying after its mama.  Her construction skills are phenomenal, but perhaps that comes with her job of managing properties in Chicago; that, and as she says, "growing up poor" without the means to hire help.  The two men are widowers with lots of expertise.  

Ron has traveled all the way from Oregon to participate in this build.  Barry dodged my camera all week. He has been at the Fort Myers build site for the past month and plans to work another two weeks after we depart on Easter.  Add Tim and I into the mix and that's it!  Spring Break the Habitat Way!

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