Day 5: On Tuesday morning, we woke up and had breakfast at North Wake church in Wake Forest, NC to fuel for our 39-mile ride to Chapel Hill that day. I wanted to show some people around downtown Wake Forest, so a group of us cruised into town to hang out at Wake Forest Coffee Co. for about an hour before heading west. We DM-ed (donation magic!) some delicious pastries and coffee!
We rolled out around 10:00am. Dietlinde (see girl happily pointing to pastries in the photo above) and I rode together as we have been doing lately. We’ve found that we’re compatible riding buddies because we have the same pace and we have good conversation on the road! We tackled the hills of highway 98 and tried to get as many semi-trucks to honk for us as possible (our record is 11 so far!). It was definitely a hillier day than most so far, but it’s good mental preparation for when we hit the Appalachian Mountains!! We went through downtown Durham and I took this photo for my dear friend and Durham native, Emily Brown:
We cruised down Franklin Street and into Chapel Hill early in the afternoon, where we were greeted by Hoyle, a dedicated Habitat for Humanity volunteer who is in his 70s, at Chapel of the Cross church. One of my fellow riders named Emerson took me on a tour around the beautiful UNC-CH campus, which I’ve never had a chance to do before! I felt like I had a personal tour guide because she knows a TON about the history of the campus. I took some cheesy tourist and/or freshman photos…
When we got back to the church, it was time to paint the trailer to represent B&B across the country!
My favorite quote of the day came from Sean McWeeny (I like to call him McWeens). While Amelia was taking charge while we were painting the trailer, something that McWeens was doing caused her to yell “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” at him, to which he responded “trying to decide if I should paint horizontally or PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE.” Classic McWeens.
By the way, be on the lookout for the Quote of the Day. I’m trying to implement it as a new part of my blog. I’m thinking it’ll be both funny and telling as to how the day went.
The caption for this next photo is “Meg blue herself” (that’s an Arrested Development reference for ya… You’re welcome):
We went out later that night to Top of the Hill and He’s Not Here, two bars in CH. It’s possible that we had a littttttle too much fun the night before our first build day… Woops. YOLO?
Day 6: FIRST BUILD DAY! We went to the build site where we were greeted by Orange County Habitat for Humanity coordinators. Tyler, one of the Habitat leaders, explained the history of their chapter and the progress that has already been made in the area we were going to be working in. It seems like a really awesome Habitat chapter that has made great strides in building affordable homes in Chapel Hill, an area of NC that is known for having incredibly high housing rates. Instead of working at a new home, I did work at an existing home that was not built by Habitat. This organization has begun implementing their Revitalization Initiative, where they also focus on existing homes in the area where they are building new affordable homes so that the entire neighborhood feels “A Brush With Kindness” (this is what they call their “build” days when they focus on revitalization). I worked at the home of Ms. Bradshaw, who had a back porch that needed to be taken down and reconstructed, as it was over 20 years old and much of the wood was rotted. We took the entire back porch down by lunch and spent the afternoon making preparations for building a new porch the next day. We also spent some time digging a ditch in her front yard, as her yard has severe irrigation problems and floods very easily, even with very little rain.
As for the Quote of the Day, it will take a little bit of explaining. We have a running group message board thanks to the App called “GroupMe”. Essentially it’s just a huge group text message where we can communicate with everyone on the team. We use it both to communicate important things like “group meeting at 6!” and to poke fun at one another. Emily Gerkin (I like to call her Gerk) went a little too far with her fun-poking. Since people got annoyed with her, she told me and Lo “We’ll see how I wake up tomorrow… Someone’s probably going to slit my Thermarest.” I should probably also note that a Thermarest is a very, very thin air mattress (calling it an air mattress is giving it WAY too much credit) that just barely prevents us from injuring our backs and necks while sleeping on hard floors. Slitting someone’s Thermarest would arguably be the meanest thing anyone could do to a teammate on this trip.
Day 7: SECOND BUILD DAY! We went back to that same swampland yard to work on the construction of the back porch. Luckily, it had rained the night before so we got to play in EVEN MORE mud. The feeling of sopping wet socks in tennis shoes is THE BEST!
Tyler, the Habitat leader, took the time to show some of us how to use a hand saw! Not gonna brag about it for too long, but when I cut my piece of wood, he said “Is this your first time using a hand saw? Because this is the best job that anyone could do.” Again, not tryna brag too much, but I just want to reiterate that I’m pretty awesome.
Here’s “leader” Ryan using a hand saw. He wasn’t as good as I was.
The Quote of the Day also goes to “leader” Ryan. When I told him that I was kind of nervous about learning how to use a handsaw, he said “It’s better to know than to not know.” Wiser words have never been said.
STOKED to be back on the bike tomorrow! Winston-Salem bound, 82 miles of rolling hills, and a 5:00am wake up time. I LOVE BIKE AND BUILD!!! I’m having the time of my life and I want to thank my donors for making this possible! 🙂 Seriously, I can’t thank you enough!!!
Bike and Build, BIKE AND BUILD!!