This spring break I opted to go on a service trip instead of driving all over the place. I wound up going to the town of Enid, Oklahoma to build a house with 13 other students from Marquette. We got pretty far.
We started slow, but by the end of the week the vast majority of the possible unskilled labor that could be done on the house had been completed. Everyone in Enid was great to our group-- we slept in a church basement, and all of our meals were provided to us by local resturaunts. We were on the front page of the local paper, and random people would stop by and give us everything from donuts to t-shirts to commemorative coins (that was the mayor) to pants for some reason.
That's the house at the end of the final day of work. We got all of the interior walls up, faced the entire house in plywood and wrapped it in an insulating sheet, and got everything ready to be decked, sided, and covered in sheetrock. Not bad for a 1200-square-foot shotgun house!
It was a really rewarding way to spend my spring break-- 32 hours of driving, 40 hours of housebuilding, and a whole lot of getting to know new people and Southern hospitality. I'd reccommend going on a service trip for spring break to anyone... the experience will be with me for a very long time. Nothing is better than giving up your time and money to go and help people. You could really feel the appreciation from everyone involved. Enid Habitat for Humanity doesn't have an applicant for the house that meets their criteria yet (it's a pretty strict applications process), but they have some good leads. It's cool to think that some needy family will be living in my group's handiwork for a long time to come.
Bonus shot of Laruen and me playing around with the chop saw. Spring break rocks!