Preparing to lay blocks.

Volunteers set the first window.
Photos by Kim MacDonald

Diary of House 949: Day Three
By Leigh Powell

Remember when I said I wasn’t sore yesterday? Wow, talk about speaking too soon! I’m glad our stipplecrete looks so good, because mixing it has totally taken out my right shoulder.

I am very stiff today—but that’s OK, because the house is coming together well. Today we got the roof tiles laid, started installing the “blueboard” that will insulate the house, raised the walls inside, installed the interior doors and put the first coat of paint on the windowpanes and door frames. It was a full day!

Richard Zondi, the homeowner, works quietly, but he’s wholeheartedly dedicated to getting his new house built. Toward the end of lunch, most of us were sitting around sipping our drinks, chatting and sharing family pictures with one another. Richard was already back on the roof, placing more tiles. I can’t even imagine what this opportunity means to him and his family. It’s thinking about the improvement in their lives of Richard and 99 other families that keeps me going through the tiredness.

Before we left the site this evening, we were at the point to be able to take down all but one side of the scaffolding. Birgit exclaimed, “It looks much more like a house now, doesn’t it?” She’s right—now that there’s a roof and no scaffolding, you can see just how close we are to making Richard’s dream a reality.

—Leigh Powell is an HFHI writer and editor on special assignment for the JCWP


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