We woke early. I had told the team we were wanting to be on the road to the job site at nine. Getting teens to genuinely care about being on the road at a certain time was something that we struggled with the rest of the trip.
The boys made breakfast and served the girls. Granted it was cereal but they still were required to fill bowls pour milk and eat after the ladies had started. As well as being responsible for clean up.
When breakfast was finished we headed to the site. The site was about 20 minutes away and when we arrived we saw the concrete foundation that had been poured for almost a year.
There we found Fernando again and it was in fact his home we would be framing. Currently him and his wife as well as there 6 children were living in a kinda rundown trailer.
This is where we met Virgil. Virgil was roughly in his sixties and was a carpenter by trade. He volunteered to build homes on the reservation for the particular ministry we were working with.
Virgil I found out later wasn't an actual volunteer, he did get paid for his time. He knew how to frame at least and while it was a little different than here in Missouri everyone caught on real quick.
The teens were assigned to be a helper to one person for 2 of them. So each indian and each leader for the most part had a boy and a girl to help them.
A few of the kids took to it right away. Don’t get me wrong, everyone helped but a few of the kids were just naturals. Becca Tucker being one of them. Becca’s work ethic is stunning. I’m pretty sure she outworked everyone of us but Matt and Ethan who dove right in.
Still there was some standing around because there were so many of us on this little 40x28 pad of concrete.
We stopped after a few hours to eat lunch. It was peanut butter and jelly. Laura and a couple of the girls had ran to Gallup to pick up a few things we needed for the evening that we had not picked up and to get a few veggies for dinner. Fernando’s wife was going to make us Navajo Tacos and we were missing a few ingredients.
Everyone pretty much got their fill. Juanita let us use her kitchen. The house was about what you would expect from the outside. Very small, however they did have cable.
The framing took about 5 hours when we ran out of wood. Pete had changed our plans roughly a week and a half before the trip. Originally we were told we would be painting. Then pout of nowhere we were framing a house.
He told us what they needed, which was concrete anchor bolts and tools. Which we were more than happy to bring.
He never mentioned wood. I was later told that most people that come are charged a certain fee for staying at the school and that that helps pay Virgil and buy supplies for projects. I was never told this during the planning.
Lets sidebar about the wind for a minute. We were in a valley and the wind never stopped. Never. It was either bad and blowing a little sand at us to zero visibility and sandblasting us. There were several time we lost site of the vans. Even a few seconds it was so bad you couldn’t see the person next to you.
I had a sunburn a few weeks ago and had not peeled. the sand literally beat that layer of skin off me like I was molting.
So we were done for the day about 5:30 or so.
While we were finishing up Brandon, Laura and a small group climbed one of the “mountains” behind us. Too much rock and vertical faces to call it a hill but not a huge climb or big deal. Still they and fun.
We left the job site and drove a ways down the road towards Gallop in order to get phone service. On the reservation the only phones that worked was the Latalls and they let us use them any time we asked which was awful nice of them. The main reason for the drive was the fact that the Indians had asked if we could buy the wood to finish the project. This wasn’t in our budget and even though we came in quite a bit under budget we did not have the funds on us to really do much other than what we planned.
After talking to Kelly it was decided that we could either take up a small collection from the teens and buy wood or we could just sit down and figure how we could use the money we had and still make it home. Etahn picked the latter for good reason. There was the fact that we were not told anything about paying for supplies and that we had told the kids not to bring too much money. Some didn’t bring any and others only brought a little so we didn’t feel it was on us to really ask them to part with it.
After our stop and everyone had talked to their respective loved ones we drove back to the school. There the adults sat on a couple bunks and tried to decide how to find the money for the wood. If we didn’t provide any supplies we would be done with work. They didn’t have any other jobs going and we still had 2 days to work left. We had framed 3 sides and really wanted to get the last wall up at least.
After discussing it and doing a lot of math we figured there was about an $80 leeway to play with. I hunted down pete and told him we would buy as many 2x6’s we could get for the eighty. He wandered off and a little while later Fernando found me and told me that they found enough wood in the back to finish the wall and that they needed roughly 80 2x4’s to finish the framing. I explained that it was not feasible. That in order to comfortably make it home we could only spend the $80 which turned out to buy 25 of the boards.
He said that was fine and we shook hands.
Every one was tired and we sat around for a couple hours waiting on the Navajo taco’s. We ate and went back to our bunk rooms.
By this time we were catching on to the fact that Ryleigh was not feeling well. She had skipped breakfast. Not eaten more than half a b burrito the day before and not drank much if any for 2 days. She was week had a slight fever and was flat refusing to eat anything. That was kinda scary luckily we had Emily Coday with us and she was amazing at taking care of Ryleight the rest of the trip.
The next day Ryleighs fever had broke but she still refused to eat. A problem that plagued us the rest of the trip.
At one point Tharon decided to go for a jog. Tharon is a pretty amazing runner and Dakota decided to tag along. Dakota was not used to running and especially not at that elevation and they returned with Dakota in tears and out of breath. He proceeded to drink a bottle of water and sleep until the devotion about 4 hours later.
Speaking of Tharon he had an experience that night with Pete. I won’t spoil it for you here. I’ll let him tell it if he wishes. While I was happy for him because it was to Tharon “One of the best things that ever happened to me” and “if nothing else happened this week that was more than enough”
I had some issues with how it came about (on Pete’s end not Tharon’s) I can’t complain about the results. I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss it with Pete the next day which I did.
After dinner had wrapped up and we had rested a bit Ethan had our devotional. It was on prayer.
Bed was next and the teen boys had taken it upon themselves to push all their bunks together side by side and create one mega bunk.
Another night of mumbles and snoring. Matt said I didn’t snore much which was technically because I had not slept much due to the circumstances of earlier that evening.
It was a long night.