Saturday, January 28, 2006

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The front wall was made and put up along with one portion of the south wall. Other walls were framed and are on site along with most of our door and window openings. The garage was shingled and is waiting for the ridge vent and ridge caps.

Week of January 23, 2006

This week was really muddy and everyone had "mushroom shoes". For the first floor, the big center steel I-beam and the floor joists were installed. The floor sheathing was put down and nailed.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Friday, January 20, 2006

Mentors Dave, Jeff (a former Home B.A.S.E. student), Jim, and Ken were on site along with Ryan D., Brandon, Andy, and Ben with Andy and Ben going coast to coast (an entire day). We now have six students who have done that. Brandon leads the class with the most hours worked. With rain projected today, we had a really good break in the weather with temperaures in the mid 50's and even some sun. We had another great day of working and we felt really good about the accuracy of our work. Our efforts last week of spending a long time squaring up the foundation and today of being accurate in everything we did payed off. When we started putting on the roof, none of the parts had to be cut at an angle to be able to fit in place and everything was square from the sill plates to the roof sheathing. Luckily enough, since we didn't have enough 1 x 6 material for the facia, we found a board stretcher in our tool box.

Monday, January 16, 2006

¡Hola from Ameca, Mexico!
That's me on the right with one of the locals. I arrived early Friday afternoon with our crew of 11. We are here as a Columbus´Habit for Humanity Global Village Team to expand our mission and provide housing for communities around the world. (for more information, our team´s website is
We are actually working on two houses here simultaniously. One is almost complete, lacking only the cement floor in the living room and roofing (roofing is done by local craftsmen). Right next to it is the other house, which had about 7 rows of brick when we arrived and is now up to about 9. The owners are sisters - Gabby and Imelda. Gabby´s family consists of Gabby, her husband Concho (also the house lead, he works for the local Habitat affiliate), and their 7 kids. Imelda is also married, I am unsure of how many children they have. Both families are muy amable, for lack of an english description. The construction is work - brick laying, cement and mortar mixing (by hand, of course). It is quite an experience. The food is also INCREDIBLE. Gabby and Imelda cook breakfast and lunch for us (with pay from our team leader). The fruit could not be more fresh. Today we had papaya and cantelope for breakfast with sugary pastries and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Later we also had fresh-squeezed guava juice and lemonade. I could go on for weeks about the food.. but we´ll move on.
The landscape here is BEAUTIFUL. It has been bright and sunny every day we´ve been here, and in the distance are two volcanoes - Ixta and Popo. (their names are a lot longer than that, but I can´t pronounce them for the life of me, let alone spell them. Those are the nicknames.) There are other mountains too, and muchos arboles. Yesterday one family we´ve met invited us over to their land. We rode horses through the mountains. It was an incredible experience, and it is absolutely georgous. I spoke with the mother (Harim) for quite a bit. According to her, the average worker here earns about 500 pesos ($50 U.S.) per week. That´s hardly enough to feed yourself and your family. She pointed out that it turns into a cycle, with no chance to better your situation. They can´t send their kids to college to make a better career, so they won´t make any more money and won´t be able to send their kids to college, etc.
We visited a few churches yesterday to spread the word of Habitat. After one visit, a man approached our group and told us that we weren´t as bad as he thought from what he has seen on tv and in the news. Harim explained to us that most people in Mexico have a poor opinion of the U.S. because of the current government actions. She said we are helping people see us in a different way.
Anyway, I´m at an internet cafe and it´s about to close, so adios for now.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Saturday, January 14, 2006

From a morning that was very drab and dreary with wet snow (typical Columbus), the day turned out to be partly sunny which made for a wonderful build. While our mentor Dave M. did fine, quick, and accurate work of laying out the sill plates on the house, the crew on the garage struggled with laying out the sill plates on the unsquare and bowed walls of the garage. (we needed Dave). However, the garage crew did a fine job of adusting their layout lines and making everything straight and true. The problem of the incorrect placement of the anchor bolts was also overcome with the aid of Mr. Riffe, Pat, and Jordan who by hand, chisled out all of the bottom plate locations for all of the anchor bolts. This picture shows the last of the crew at the end of the day with the completed work. The braces you see are not to hold the walls up. We anchored these braces in the dirt using nail stakes and with devices normally used in the concrete construction trades, we pushed and pulled the tops of the walls straight.

  • The walls of the garage were completely framed sood up, plumbed and straightened.
  • The cap plates were put on.
  • The truss layout was done on the cap plates.
  • Di, John P., John B., and Brandon sheathed the gable end trusses and put on the rake boards.

One of the best things to happen was our homeowner-to-be, Belay(bee-lie) and her brother worked with us the entire day. This is Belay on the left and her brother.

It was great to have Mr. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Meena, and Mr. Riffe on site with their sons and daughters.

The temperature when we arrived at 8 AM was 32 degrees. The temperature when we left site at 5:00 PM was 32 degrees. The wind was blowing at 20 mph+ almost all day. Those of us who stayed all day were a little windburnt on our faces.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Week of January 9, 2006

We have the basement walls up on our house and garage.

The top and bottom plates were cut an laid out. On site, the foundation walls were chalked for the placement of sill plates.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Week of January 3, 2006

Progress! The forms for the footers were formed and the concrete was placed in them. Our construction container was moved to site along with our walls which we moved with a truck courtesy of Brad Nardolson and the Righter Construction Company . That's Tim and Waldo of the Righter Company who drove the truck.

Moving the walls provided the first trip to our site for the class.