Thursday, March 15 – The Endless Hike

“I think one of my favorite things about these trips is that they bring together students of different majors and backgrounds in general that you wouldn’t normally get to meet in your classes and you’re able to develop strong and close friendships that continue after the trip is over.” -Crystal

Back to work today for the ASBers! The group was split a little differently this morning. We separated in half at 7:30 a.m. for our separate projects for the day. Half of the ASBers went to the Habitat ReStore, a store dedicated to raising money to keep Habitat for Humanity functioning. The other half of us headed to a rehabilitation project at a house near downtown Birmingham.

The house today was an extremely fun project – probably the most fun I’ve had so far in the trip. Our supervisor, Matt, managed all ten of us on his own. Matt was not only incredibly kind but also funny enough to keep us laughing all day long. Our favorite part of having him as the supervisor was that he did very little micromanaging. He left us to our own projects and only intervened if he thought we needed it which led to some interesting situations, but those situations only led to new lessons learned.

My tasks for the day included demolition of a sealed-shut screen door. Matt showed Amy, Ricardo and me the door and said, “I have no idea how to do this, but you need to get this door out without breaking the glass.” Although we all shared a laugh about his parting words to us before our project, we realized he was completely serious. The three of us spent an hour hammering, prying, and shaking to wriggle the door out of the space in the wall. Finally, the door came out and the entire ASB crew in the house all cheered with us. I don’t know if I have ever felt so satisfied in a project. To spend an hour on a project that seems impossible only to find out that you can do it is one of the best feelings during construction.

The rest of the work day was spent hanging drywall to the ceiling and framing the wall for a new window. At 3 p.m., we left our favorite supervisor after a very productive day. Immediately from the work site, we drove to Ruffner Mountain for a “short” hike. However, the hike turned out to be nearly three hours long. Although the entire group can agree that the hike was gorgeous, we were all so dead from the long day and the lack of dinner that our feet were dragging the whole time. The view from the top, however, made the entire hike worth it!

After what felt like an eternity, the ASBers returned to the house where it was my group’s turn to cook dinner: pasta and salad (although I didn’t help much because, let’s face it, I can’t cook). While finishing a very quiet and tired dinner, we celebrated Audrey’s 22nd birthday with cake, ice cream, and Taylor Swift’s “22”. We finished the night by going around the room giving compliments to the other ASBers. I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day of work before heading back to Illinois!

– Teagan Potter ’19

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