Gyp rock, eh?

This week we hosted the group that I think wins the award for coming from the furthest away: Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA! They divided up between 2 sites in Sparks; 2/3 of them finished building Concepcion Guzman's home that another group began back in June, and the remaining third went to fix--for good this time--Rosa Chavez's roof. A group "fixed" it in June but Rosa said it still leaked, so hopefully the over-roof we built will take care of it! In between enjoying glasses of her AMAZING iced tea, the insulation and ceiling panels inside got replaced too. The group also fixed some hazardous wiring and hung some cabinets that Rosa had been given but unable to hang by herself. Back at the Guzman home, the majority of the group spent their week stuccoing, drywalling (or "gyp rocking" as it's called in Canada), taping, mudding, painting, and tiling. Since there were 2 carpenters by trade and several others with a sufficient experience and knowledge, they also rebuilt the ramp on the front of the house to make it sturdier for Concepcion's handicapped son's wheelchair, added a handrail, and put a 2nd layer of OSB on the deck in between the new house and the existing trailer in addition to completing nearly the whole list of remaining tasks.

It was a laid-back week for Chris and I since the group had enough experienced leadership to essentially be their own construction managers, so we had lots of time to chat with both the kids and adults and learn more about our neighbors to the North. For instance:

1. "gyp rock"=drywall
2. "peanut butter and jam"=peanut butter and jelly
3. St. Louis has a population larger than the entire province of Alberta
4. Canada is the 2nd largest country (area-wise) in the world
5. At this time of year, the sun comes up around 9 am and sets around 3 pm
6. Canadian currency includes a $1 coin called a "loony" because it has a loon on it; when the $2 coin was introduced and it had a bear on it, the logical nickname was "twoony!"

And my favorite:

7. at -40 degrees, the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales meet and it doesn't make any's just cold!

Enjoy the pictures!

Matthew, Rachel, and Laila putting up "stucco netting." Not chicken wire--stucco netting.

Jared was on the gyp rocking crew...he loved that drill as much as I do I think.

Who could forget Cowboy Rick? Although he really wasn't his true self until he got rid of that hat and bought a real cowboy one. He can bake too...I had carrot cake for breakfast this morning!

The 2nd coolest construction-related thing I have ever seen, after the drywall drill: insert the ends of the wires into a standard drill, turn it on, and Voila!

Daniel, Alicia, and Jonathan.

Rosa Chavez's kitchen after the demolition stage and before the rebuilding stage. Those cabinets on the left that are sitting on top of the other cabinets are the ones the group hung for her, which freed up way more counter space. That wooden pole on the end of the kitchen table was able to be removed too because they braced the ceiling rafters up enough so that it was no longer serving a purpose. Compound all of that on top of a new ceiling that is not sagging b/c the insulation is sopping wet with rainwater and it's no wonder her kitchen looks a lot bigger now!

Fixing the wiring--you have to drill THROUGH the rafters, not shove the wires in between the ceiling and the rafters.

Adam, Katherine, Ashley, and Bruce.

It doesn't get cold enough in El Paso for Mike so he had to bring some snow from home!

They claimed 400 sq. ft. of U.S. territory for the Canadians.

The whole group plus some of the family. This was taken after an emotional blessing service and the presentation of some gifts, including school supplies, a wooden cross, and a Spanish Bible, to the family.

Until next time, blessings!


chill said…
I sure keep hearing a lot about this iced tea, but I wonder why I wasn't offered any when I came by the sight? Sad :(