Each week the Hope Village (Minot) website posts a tally board of sorts on their progress. This was posted pertaining to the week we were working there.
Hope Village Weekly Numbers
WEEK OF JUNE 24-30
Volunteer groups: 12
Volunteer hours: 5,491
A volunteer hour in ND is valued at $17.49/hr which equates to $96,037.59 of service given in just 7 days!
Homes worked on: 31
Homes currently working on: 34
Homes waiting for volunteers: 88
Jobs pending for rebuild, sanitizing, yard work and other miscellaneous work: 206
One more blog.................so tired I can't remember how to make Lynn's photo jump out of my txt message to my e-mail. A picture of us in hot pursuit of team Tortoise. I have a few things I want to say. Thanks to Ginni for leading our group, thanks to Don and Warren for leading our construction, thanks to Bill (our union leader) and Wanda for teaching us how to be sheet rockers. Thanks to Lynn for driving team Hare. Thanks to Ruby for lending her van. Thanks to LeLoie for my morning coffee and tons of laughs. Thanks to Jeri and Bob who provided a cross, that hung from our rearview mirror. Thanks to all of those who prayed for us. A special personal thanks for the quilt that I was given for Mom. I have never shared so many laughs in one week. And on more than one occasion, some tears. What a group.
While team Tortoise (LeLoie, Bill, Wanda, Ginni) are just doddling around the village tonight, team Hare is at the food tent, planning out the trip home. We are thinking of going through Bismark, Fargo, Sioux Falls, Sioux City and Omaha. Place your bets here on who gets home first. Don't tell the Pastors we are betting, no money on the table please.
Well, four days later and Jean's house is closer than ever before to being ready for her to move in. It's impossible not to think about her as we each go through the day, doing our part to make each room look it's best. At 82 years old, Jean had just moved into her house eight months prior to the flood. Her son, Sean, who lives in the house behind hers, stopped by today to thank us for spending the week to help them out. He said they never would have been able to work at restoring both of their houses. We presented him with a quilt for his mother that Wanda had made and, as he reached over to embrace her, said 'I hope you don't mind being hugged by a stranger'. Funny how nobody has seemed like a stranger this week.
(Although some of our group seem stranger by the day)
Just kidding! It has been really fun spending the week and getting to know each other in ways that we would never have the chance to otherwise. It will be bittersweet leavng Minot tomorrow...but we'll be back next year. Hoping you will consider joining us. It's an experience you will never forget!
One year later, Minot is still in bad shape. Most houses have a sign in the front yard. They say 'I'm coming back' or 'I'm back' or 'For Sale'. There is so much needed work yet.
Today we worked to help bring 80+ year old Jean back to her home. I dedicate my work today to my mother, who was moved from her home of 36 years to a nursing home today. And to my siblings.
Today was a much cooler day as a sheet rocker!!!! And we needed that after the unbelievable heat yesterday. We ladies spent the day mostly sanding, drilling and taping. While the guys did all the hard work...........Hanging more dry wall for us to sand, drill and tape. Yippe. Along with building some walls and other things. I have learned so much on this trip. I am a list maker. I have compiled the top 10 things I have learned as a sheet rocker newbie:
1. It is NOT just a mans job, but I am ok if they want to do it.
2. Do NOT hang dry wall in 91 degrees, with no AC. Under NO circumstances
3. There are lots of opinions on how to do it.
4. Boogers are a bad thing
5. More water is good (so says Wanda). Don says you have too much water in the mud.
6. Taping is a lot like hanging wallpaper. Just less fun
7. Taping a closet is an all day job. From now on, if I am at your house, I'm checking the dry wall in your closets.
8. Taping is better the filling screw holes - LeLoie has perfected the filling screw holes
9. Perfect is not possible. Give up trying.
10. ALWAYS hang dry wall with friends.
Well, today started out with a blast! Oh, well, maybe not a blast - we had latrine duty this morning for our Village chores. I truly think the guys thought we ladies would do their side also - but guess again! After that we were off to the jobsite. It was HOT today -very hot. You could tell it by the way we were lagging by the end of the afternoon.
I think about the homeower a lot when we are there. We've never met her but we are hoping to before our week is up. We have asked the people here at the village to contact her - we have a quilt for her and a cross. I wonder if she misses her home. I know here neighbor misses her - she said that she was very glad that Jean was coming back and that work is being done on her home.
I am glad that God has given us this opportunity to be of service. Our question for Bloom2 this week is: Can we really change the World? Well, we can - and in Minot, ND we are - one house at a time. Please keep the people of Minot in your hearts and in your prayers - they are far from being back to "normal", and even some of the people who actually live in Minot - those who live "up the hill" aren't really aware of the devastation that is still so apparent when you drive through the flood area.
These people's lives have been changed and will remain that way for a very long time. The flood has left an indelible mark on the landscape and on the lives of the people here.
Well...to say we're sheet rockers might be a bit of an exaggeration BUT we did do really good considering most of us were novices. Loaded up tools and got started about 8:30 am (without even stopping at a Starbucks...color me sad). The house that we are working on is the home of an 80+ year old lady. Her neighbors haven't seen her since the flood and were really excited that we were working on finishing her house so that she would be able to move back in. We divided up duties and were soon busy hanging sheetrock, taping and mudding over all of the nails. There isn't any running water inside the house yet - so our internal plumbing needs soon needed to be met and we were off in search of a bathroom. For all the folks that said they would never use a Kybo...well lets just say they changed their minds. Closest one was a few blocks away outside the Moose Lodge. At 10:00 the ladies thought that slapping on mud was one of the best jobs EVER. By 2:00 the aches started to appear and we realized how much work we were really in for. We couldn't wait to get back to the Village for a hot shower. I think we will look at all the things we normally take for granted just a little bit differently this week.
Hard to believe that it's been a year since the flood displaced 12,000 people here at Minot - over a quarter of the town. Only 200 families had flood insurance to cover their losses when the flood took their homes and changed their lives forever. Hope Village will be in place for three years to rebuild the homes of the 911 families who are still on the waiting list. Seems like a daunting task but people from all over the country are volunteering hours - about 4500+ a week - to make the impossible possible. Both the Hares and the Tortoises are glad to be able to lend a hand however we can to help them get there!
P.S. My friendship with Jo may be at a crossroads if she keeps posting horrible pix of me on Facebook. Please pray for her to be nicer.
We arrived in one piece. We affectionately named ourselves (ok, I did it) team tortoise and team hare. Team tortoise made the trip in two days (Bill, Wanda, Ginni, Leloie) and sent us nagging photos of a relaxing morning, coffee, liesure. Followed by lunch at Ruby Tuesdays, blah blah blah. Team Hare(Jo, Lynn, Warren and Don), headed out at 5am, in pursuit of the other team. Keeping with the traditional story, team Hare figured they could make up some ground by taking the diaganol path versus the Interstate. All was good for awhile. Then for a bit we were on gravel/dirt road with a speed limit of 25. Then came the buffallo. Then came the yellow fields of flowers. At which time, Jo decided to google yellow fields in ND and Lynn phoned a friend Mike to find out what they were. Long story short, we missed our turn. Another scenic turn of events. Some sort of water preserve, with water up to the edge of the road, speed limit 15. Soon we were back on course. What can I say, we had fun. So it would seem it is still light at 10:12 pm, who knew. Time to go to bed. Team Tortoise 1, team Hare 0, but we sure had fun. Night all.