First day was great. It’s amazing how the group has come together. They all received power tool training today in the morning as we will be spending most of our time working on a house that was built in 1918 and has been purchased by the Turkey Creek Land Trust. This afternoon while one group worked on constructing a scaffold/work bench for the group to use while at the worksite, another group visited the local high school to inventory and clean-up their science lab. Believe it or not they haven’t had a science teacher or for that matter a science class in the school for a while. Very strange!!! Tomorrow the group will learn how to hang sheetrock and spackle.
We had the honor of meeting Miss Rose Johnson, the founder of the North Gulfport Community Land Trust and found her to be a well-spoken, engaging and loving woman; such an inspiration. It was the perfect sendoff to hear from her before we were to begin working on helping with the restoration of this historic home.
~ Mrs. Hanrahan and Mr. Drossel
Today is a very tiring day. In the morning, I was so cold that I woke up during the sleep 2 – 3 times. But today is the first day that we really learned something new in our working place, a beautiful, small house. So we went to the house first and found that the house itself is just like a “skeleton” without any decoration and boards inside the house. So Mike started to teach us how to work, how to construct a house. He first taught us how to use those tools, but most of them, if not used properly, are really dangerous. So I wanted to try first with the drilling and cutting. I wanted Mike to point out what I might do wrong. Surprisingly, I learned so fast that I met only a little trouble, and Mike said I’m a good learner. Later, when we finished training, we started a real job. To be honest, even thought it was the first time I got to learn these things, I was curious rather than fearful. Maybe it is because I have learned everything from Mike already. During the process we worked so hard and concentrated so much that we did not even notice the time passing so quickly. We made 2 tables by the end of the workday. The first one took us a long time since we did not really know how to cooperate swiftly and use tools effectively. However, the second table only took us about half an hour to finish (the legs were already constructed); everyone knows his or her own job. What an interesting day I had!! I had never even thought about working on building houses, but now I do. After working, we also visited Turkey Creek, the place that we need to protect even thought it did not interest me as much as the job of building at the house did.
~ Guorui (Bob) X.
Construction of Scaffold/Work Bench
Today I woke up at 6:30am and feel so cold because last night I did not have any things to cover my body so I got a lot of nightmares. After eating breakfast, we took 5 minutes to drive to the house that we will be working in. Mike, who is very good at building houses, teaches us different names of different machines and of course the skills needed to use the machines. Then he told us our goal today is making a bench in a day. We learned how to use the cutting tools (hand, miter, circular, jab and hand saw) and how to read the measurements on the measuring tape. Then, we used the cutting machine (miter saw) to cut different lengths of wood that we need. Then, we use the drill to set the nail on the wood and correct each other step by step. In the measuring step, we should read the measurement accurately because if we make a mistake, we have to fix it or cut the wood again. We have to be very careful. With Mike’s help, we took 3 hours to build one and a half tables in a day. We felt so tired and exhausted. But, it’s very interesting to know how to build the bench and, for me, it is a very good experience.
~ Yinru (Jason) S.
Turkey Creek Hike
We went on a hike along the Turkey Creek right after we came back from work. My feet were freezing cold and I was really tired because I haven’t slept well for days. The entry was not easy to find. The whole park was like some secretive base. I felt like I was walking through the closet in the story of Narnia. I had no idea of where I was going. I went hiking in Saddleback Mountain in California several times, but Turkey Creek was different. Turkey Creek was heavily polluted. It was supposed to be a habitat for migrant birds, but I didn’t see any of them. The bridge was falling apart (a couple of pieces of wood on the railings need repair) and there was trash on the road. I hope that Turkey Creek’s environmental problem can be solved as soon as possible.
~ Yingqi (Ingrid) Z.