Day One of the first Roeper Alumni Service Corps project is under our belts, and boy are my arms tired. Ba-dump-BUMP.
By the end of the day, you could barely see that we had made a dent in our project -- most of the work ended up below ground. We had to sink six 3-foot holes with an 8-inch diameter through hard-packed clay. Then we needed to fill the holes with concrete and let it set, so that on Day Two we could erect a shade-giving structure they call a "pergola."
There were about 7 Roeper alumni there on this first day, and it took us almost the whole time to just dig the holes. It was hard labor with no power tools of any sort to help us. Pickaxes, post-hole diggers, and a long bar with a point at one end that is called, according to its label, the "mutt." This turned out to be the most helpful implement.
Anyway, we dug six of this:
But then, with Day One drawing to a close, we still had to level the holes, and fill them with concrete.
Enter Eric and Paul. Our local sponsors, Focus:Hope had sent over a few high school-age volunteers to help out with some of the planting and weeding that we were beginning. Among them were two young men, Eric and Paul. Eric had been to masonry vocational school, and both boys were highly skilled around the job site. And, they were eager to pitch in.
We very quickly took a back seat as Eric and Paul leveled the holes (Asa and I were disputing one particular level measurement, with dueling iPhone apps, and Eric pulled out a water bottle and placed it on the board. "Water doesn't lie," he said, and told us that Asa was right and I was wrong. From then on we used his water-bottle level and kept our iPhones in our pants.)
We pitched in and all, but these guys really knew what they were doing. Because of their attitude and effort, we completed pouring the concrete and are now looking forward to having a secure foundation for the pergola.