This week I’ve walked up and down Millard Fuller drive dozens of times, taken hundreds of photos/video clips of people hammering, sawing, painting, climbing ladders, roofing, and cutting siding, and met and interviewed people from faraway
places such as Peru, Mexico, Burma and Iraq.
Out of all of this activity, the latter is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the build – The dominating Southern y’alls mixed with a few Spanish phrases, Midwestern drawls, and Eastern and Middle Eastern accents. I wondered how all these people from different cultures, with such different ways of interacting and even joking, managed to communicate on a construction site.
Of course, somehow it’s never actually a problem.
“It’s been a great week. We all loved it. We all came with no experience at all,” said Sara Sabaa, a pre-engineering student at Webster University from Iraq. “We all thought we would be standing to the side just handing nails and hammers to people. But when we got here actually our house captains were giving us work to do. This is the first time I’ve been on a construction site. I didn’t know most of the names of the tools and materials and now I feel like, hey I can do this, it’s a piece of cake.”