I think this is my sixth “Women’s Empowerment” Build (WE Build) at the non-profit where I work. It was a great event and the predicted nasty weather held off enough so that it didn’t interfere at all with what we needed to get done.
Damn – I’m tired!
Up at 03:45 to get up to Palmdale at 06:00. We’re (“we” = Homes4Families, where I’ve worked for the last 3.5 years) just starting construction on a 56 home subdivision there for low-income veterans. One of our big events, every Mother’s Day weekend, is the WE Build, where we get hundreds and hundreds of women on site to do some heavy-duty construction. Over the years we’ve done everything from framing, fencing, landscaping, pouring concrete driveways and sidewalks, base and case, painting, building concrete walls, jackhammering holes for tree planting, and so on.
This was my sixth WE Build, but the first where the weather was a potential issue. We just don’t get much rain in May out in these parts.
When the sun finally bothered to come up, it was pretty, but threatening.
The rainbow just before we started was very pretty, but also meant that there were showers in the area.
Our turnout this year was huge, which is a fantastic thing. This is our first WE Build in Palmdale since we’re just starting the project there (notice all of that flat, only recently graded dirt!) and the support we’re seeing from the community is wonderful.
My staff job for the day was to work with the women starting a block wall along the main road. I obviously don’t do this on a regular basis and learn just enough to be dangerous, but I know where to go to get answers so I’m not completely useless.
Today one of my primary jobs ended up being tying rebar together. It turns out to be a painful job since the wire is hard and stiff, sharp, and you’re often operating in semi-confined spaces such as that pillaster in the lower right. The can cause you to come home with an “interesting” array of scratches and punctures on your hands.
But that’s a fantastic wall!
Once we were finishing up cleaning and storing tools and equipment at the end of the day, the thunderstorms finally moved in. We never actually got hit with a downpour, but we could see them all around us, along with the lightning and thunder.
Finally, as always, I managed to stuff about two months’ worth of exercise into one day. I will be paying the price for that over the next few days, I’m sure.
Still, a great event for us. I’m just sooooooo sore and sooooooo tired at this point. And a little sunburnt. And a lot scabby on my hands.