USVI All Hands Volunteering – Day 2

December 6 – The early risers were stirring before the lights were flipped on at 6:30. I crawled off the air mattress with an unusual amount of vigor. No doubt motivated by the fact I had 1 hour to get ready; coffee/breakfast consumed, lunch prepared, and some wrangling of the locks.

At 7:45 the team leaders have a meeting then we all load up our respective vans and head to the job site. They’ve hired a small crew of taxi drivers to shuttle the teams around. They stay with us all day then return us safely back to base. Our drivers name was Ricky. He politely answered my curious questions about the Island and locals.

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The drive was a little adventure. Steep and narrow streets winding up to the duplex we were working on that day. The view was really nice. The driveway was not so much…haha.

Most of the homeowners possessions had already been cleared and the house gutted.

I snapped this lovely picture shortly before the downpour.

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We discovered a tree full of Iguanas. I counted 11, but they blend in so well its hard to know for sure.

We spent the day tying up loose ends, hoping a dumpster would arrive. We started hauling trash and construction materials down to the street in preparation but the dumpster never came. The heat and humidity were pretty stifling so I took the time I needed in the shade to keep from overheating. We pack along plenty of water and even some Gatorade powder to keep from getting dehydrated. It was definitely the most physical exertion I’ve put forth in some time, but we still found ways to laugh.

We wrapped up the work day by decontaminating all the tools, protective equipment, gloves, and boots.

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We were one of the first teams to base so I was luck enough to get a shower before much of a line had formed. The team meeting went well and dinner couldn’t be served quick enough. Its amazing how much better food tastes when you’ve worked up an appetite. The most impressive part is it was prepared by fellow volunteers. No small task creating a menu for 60+ people.

I was so exhausted I stayed to visit with folks for a little while but headed to my bed before lights out at 9pm.

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