Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Last week in minot.

To wrap up our last week, we finished the OSB on the one house and wrapped the house as well. It was such an accomplishment for us. I really enjoy seeing our work progress! We also worked on a couple other houses cleaning up debris and prepping for other groups of volunteers to do some demo and prep for sanitizing. Im so happy we didn't have to sanitize for our last week. Yesterday we went out to the recovery warehouse where oak 3, another Americorps team has been working. We went for a cookout but got ropes into helping them work. We ending up wrapping up siding and the making 2 deliveries. We split the teams up to so the deliveries and I went with the drywall. We delivered probably 50 sheets of 12 foot drywall to one house. It was ridiculous! 

Our last weekend was spent by doing a community day with the organization stars of hope. We blew up i dot know how many balloons to be released as resemblance of when the flood occurred two years ago. We also painted 1500 stars that will be sent east for hurricane sandy relief. The stars just give the community some hope to move on. 

We are currently on the road to head back to Iowa. We are stopping in Minneapolis for the night. Friday we have our debrief of this project and then Saturday I am off to North Carolina for vacation!! Ahhhhhh! So excited for a break! I'll post pictures of my adventures! :)

The latest team photo. 

Some of my teammates holding some balloons to be passed out. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

We found work!

This week was a pretty slow one. We finally found work for us to be done and have been working on one house this entire week. We have been taking down the exterior board, buffalo board/builtrite, and have been replacing it with OSB/plywood. This has taken us the whole week and we are still not done. The weather has given us challenges again. We had to stop working for a half a day because it was thundering and lighting. Our site supervisor didn't think it was a good idea to be working on extension ladders in a storm. 

It sounds like this week, to wrap up our stay here, we will be finishing the OSB on the house and then back to preping and sanitizing a few other houses. Not sure how far we will get but at least we will have steady work for us to complete. 

Yesterday, Saturday, some of us from both teams took a trip to the international peace gardens. It borders the US and Canada so we were in Canada for a couple hours! :) the peace garden reminded me of Fredrick Meyer gardens but a little smaller. Unfortunately they just planted the flowers so there wasnt much color around. 

Today we are doing an ISP in preparation for our community day coming up. We will be working with stars of hope (there is a website for more info). For the ISP we will be pairing stars and putting them up around town. This organization was created for towns that have experienced natural disaster. They put the stars around to remind everyone that they are together and are all in need. 

The US/ Canada border. (Above)

A credit card pay phone. 

A piece of the World Trade Center. 


These weren't at the peace gardens but we saw them on our way there. Above is a turtle made out of 2,000 tire rims and below is the very much debated geographic center of North America. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Slowing down

This past week has definitely been a challenging one. Break is just around the corner and I think people are getting a little antsy and stir crazy. The village we are at can be extremely boring at times and the work we complete can be just as tiring. 

We finished up the sanitizing list last week with the worst houses. One was an extremely small home with insulation everywhere. Not the long yellow or pink strips but the fluffy little lint balls of insulation. Even though we cleaned the house before getting it wet, little lint balls would fly all over from the power washer and stick to our coats. And the basement of that house was full of a huge dirt mound in order to aborbs some of the water from the flood. By the end of the day we looked like we were tarred and feathered. 

The next house we worked on was a house that had been sprayed several times already but still needed to be sanitized. But we couldn't do our normal routine of using the power washer because it already had all the electrical wiring installed. So we had to spray the house with water using the pump sprayers, hand scrub all the walls and then sanitize with the pump sprayers. This was especially frustrating for me because I was usually one of the only people to be hand scrubbing. I guess not many people can say they have hand scrubbed the framing of a whole house. 

We have bee doing more fun activities around Minot which is such a nice change of pace and is fun to see the town. We went to the train museum, air museum, and the Scandinavian park to watch a movie. This weekend we are going to go to the International Peace Gardens up by Canada. 

We ended the week with a overnight ISP (volunteer opportunity). We went to the Minot University and worked for the Relay for Life event. We basically moved tables and chairs and walked around. Not much to do but it was a nice change of pace from our rough week. 

Currently, my team and I are waiting to be told what work we can do. We are wasting time doing paper work and waiting for people to get trailers for us to load up debris. We work too fast for our sponsor they are running out of work for us to do. Which in the long run is a blessing because that means we are getting people back into their homes and that Hope Village will soon I longer be needed.  Not sure what the rest of our time here will be spent doing but I'm sure it will be a slow last couple of weeks. 

At the air museum. (Above)

At the Scandinavian park. Above and below. 

The dump trailer I organized all by myself. Thanks dad for teaching me to be tedious and to have such good organization! :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Nothing really new for now. We have been plugging away at sanitizing houses and are making the list of "clients" decrease. It's been cold and rainy which is better than being warm with all the gear we have to wear while sanitizing. 

I went to the train museum this weekend just on the mear fact that we wanted something to do. The boys had fun playing with the toy Thomas trains that they had. 

This week it looks like we will be sanitizing houses again and then who knows what's in store for us for the rest of our time here. Seems like we are running out of work to do.