I've wanted to do a Habitat for Humanity build pretty much forever. So it figures that the firm I work for would sign up for one (All firm! All Friday! Busses, lunch and swanky porta-potties provided!) smack in the middle of my pregnancy. CLEARLY, certain things were going to be off limits for me: heavy lifting, climbing, scaffolding and anything involving chemicals or paint. I spent the week before the build moping around and thinking I was doomed to sit in a corner being all "pregnant" and "restful" while everyone else had fun.
I was SO FREAKING WRONG. Happily, happily wrong.
There was plenty for me to do. The volunteer team leaders were totally understanding and willing to help me find jobs that were appropriate for me and Bean. I started out the day on a team assigned to staple wire mesh over ventilation holes in what will be the attic of the duplex we were working on (I did climb a ladder (bad preggo!) but only 3 steps worth). Once we were finished with that task, my group moved on to some painting and I and another volunteer were assigned to another task: building a tent for the work area. The site manager basically showed me a pile of connectors and aluminum poles (and a METAL SAW!) and said HAVE AT IT! I had such a great time figuring out how to put the thing together and enlisting a large group of my coworkers to help hoist the tent and finish off the project.
At lunchtime, a woman who will be moving into her own Habitat house in a few weeks spoke to us. It made the whole experience so much more rewarding to hear her story and know that we were helping families like hers, in however small a way.
After lunch joined a team working on framing a new duplex. The foundations were laid and we were building a frame for the first wall. There was lots of hammering to be done, and I even got to try my hand at the fancy metal saw! By the end of the day my coworkers had lifted the wall into place (preggo skipped that step) and we all signed the beams before heading home.
I had so much fun working on the site and was amazed at the extent to which the team leaders just TRUSTED US with power tools. Even more so, to the extent which we proved WORTHY OF TRUST with power tools! The sense of accomplishment we left with was just off the charts. The word is, the firm will be volunteering for a build every year from now on . . . I can't wait for next year's!