Habitat for Humanity – Sumter, SC: Day 6

Getting up at 6:15am gets harder and harder as the days go on. I don’t usually like to sleep in, but this is way too early to wake up and function. But I also love being productive so early in the morning, so I guess it’s beneficial.

We started out the day with OSB (the plywood-like stuff) and putting that up around the exterior of the house. Hammering up and down is hard enough as it is, but having to turn and hammer at a sideways angle I find so much harder. Who needs to go to the gym when you can hammer in some OSB?

A lot of us also were continuing to put up the top plates, which are basically just pieces of wood on top of the wall frames to help stabilize it. With it being about 26 degrees at the peak of the day, being up on the ladders made for an exhausting day.

Next was lunch! Our wonderful hosts must have know that I was craving a burrito because that’s what they graciously made us for lunch. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a big burrito in my life, I could barely function after.

After lunch, it was time to start building the deadwood and placing it on top of our top plates. The purpose of the deadwood was to support the tresses that we hopefully are going to put up tomorrow.

At a beautiful 26 degrees, safe to say it was an absolutely beautiful day and I’m so grateful to be having this experience. I’ve met the most amazing people from Sumter, South Carolina, and I can’t believe tomorrow is our last day on site. I can’t wait to get back to Niagara and volunteer locally to help make an impact in my own community. Seeing a smile on someone else face brings pure joy to me, and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to help others in any capacity.

We just had dinner with another community partner, and after tonight I can honestly say I had an epiphany on the true meaning of volunteering and life. It sounds super cheesy, but I don’t really expect anyone who hasn’t been on this trip before to understand. Just hearing other’s stories and how we, just college students from Canada, have even impacted their lives. Throughout this trip I have been able to reflect personally and with our trip group, and I never thought that reflection would have such an impact on me. Bob, the main contractor for Habitat for Humanity in Sumter, has touched me in a way that is beyond any words. He was telling a few people and I how so many people don’t have faith in my generation, but how he has firsthand seen how motivated and appreciative we can be. He gave us so much faith and hope in not only ourselves, but our generation as a whole.

We were doing our nightly reflection, and our theme of the night was “Impact.” This whole trip has had an impact on me in every which way, shape, or form. Tonight we got deep and expressed how privileged we are and what we sometimes take for granted. It was a breath of fresh air to get deep with such likeminded individuals and express emotions that I usually bottle up. I think its important for everyone to have people who are there to listen to them, and I’m grateful for every single individual  I’ve met on this trip.