Monday, December 21, 2009

The building site becomes a home!

On Saturday our mission was to complete the house ready for the opening. A VERY motivated crew descended onto the site. The shed was completed and Ken came with his spray gun and painted it at least three times. The post for the back gate was installed.

Alex came and went through the interior of the house doing all sorts of jobs. He quietly worked away fitting wardrobe door handles, easing doors, screwing on door stops, mirrors and any other jobs he saw that needed doing. He was awesome!

Ron the landscaper set to sorting out the planting. His whole family and other volunteers ripped into it, transforming the section from barren earth to a beautiful garden. Grass seed was even planted. (They haven't invented instant growing grass so we could not have that up by Sunday) Ron has made a great impact on this build and he has been enjoyed by those who have worked with him.

Les and Ray the plumbers had put in many hours during the week. Les had to attend a family funeral so Ray was here working away connecting all the fittings. We upset his working day when he discovered that one of us had put a screw through a pipe.  The water had to be turned off, and Ray quietly and patiently set about fixing it.

Ken the electrician also had been at work during the week and all the lights and plugs were working as they should.

Chairman Colin was trying his hand at a number of things and put up curtain rails busily. Richard was to finish them off later in the day. 

A band of women hit sewing machines and irons and sorted out curtains. Elizabeth was there early in the morning and was still sewing into the night. When she finished sewing she picked up a vacuum cleaner and started cleaning. 

People cleaned up the site and at lunch time Richard took a trailer load to the tip. The trailer and a van was filled again by the end of the day.

Richard was water blasting the paths at nearly 10 p.m. (poor neighbours!) The evening meal was some fish and chips, and Ken & Diane called by during the night with chocolate treats. 

All in all it was a terrific day's work. The last workers left just after 10 p.m. Richard was back on the job at 8 Sunday morning to do some touch up painting. (Rumour has it that Richard went to the movies after the dedication on Sunday and slept through most of the first half of the film!)

Thank you... thank you ... thank you. If you have hammered one nail, swept up one bit of dust, or helped dig one hole or done anything to help this build, we want to say thank you. Your help is appreciated. We have done so well to finish this big house so quickly. It has been a good build, with a great deal of friendship, joy and yet motivated work on site.

Sunday Dedication

On Sunday we arrived up at the house with the wind blowing and rain threatening. (It seems to be a Dunedin Habitat Dedication day weather habit??) We at first gathered in the lounge but were ushered out again. Mike and a team of mates performed a stunning Maori challenge, with Mike looking awesome. Chairman Colin picked up the leaf offered and led us into the house to the strains of Maori singing. It was so moving. Colin welcomed all and thanked those who had helped. Mike and Christine responded and there was no doubting their real appreciation for the work done. Let it go on record that Christine cried... she who always has an answer was speechless... briefly. :-) They were presented with a key, a framed photo of the family with the governor general, flowers, a Bible and Dave led in a prayer of blessing for both house and family. We then got into the food. People had brought cakes, sandwiches had been bought but my favourite was the hangi food the family provided. It helped to make the event something special. The local paper was there to report and photograph. It was a special time of celebration marking a job well done.

Special thanks must go to Richard who has been building committee convener, liaising with trades people, ensuring materials were ordered and generally guiding the project along. Martin also has played a special part with his advice and guidance.

We are so pleased that before Christmas this building project, this house has now become a home. We do pray God's blessing on the family as they settle in and continue to share the love they have with each other and others. Mike, Christine and the family have worked hard for this home. We say congratulations..... enjoy. We loved working with you.

Photos: Chronologically from bottom to the top.

(a) Mike and his party begin proceedings.

(b) Mike brings his challenge.

(c) Mike with door key in hand speaks to the crowd. (First in Maori then in English)

(d) Christine receives the Cerebos/Gregs box of goodies and flowers.

(e) Jeff helps Mike dish up the hangi kai.