AIDAN, IN ACTION ON SITE!

Hey y’all here is one of several posts about… our Fall 2018 Build Team ! A mix of photos, Alumni/Intern spotlights, Natural Building. Check out our mud filled fun !

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Safety first! Aidan has unplugged the pneumatic staple gun before getting it un-stuck from the bale wall.

(WEST) AIDAN         –        FALL 2018 INTERN         –        Question & Answer 

Q: Where are you from ?
Socal-venice beach
Q: What do you hope to learn/ primary focuses for the this Build/ here with Community Rebuilds ?
everything! I was really interested in carpentry and plastering from the beginning.
Q:  Hobbies/ Moab specific activities you enjoy?
Getting outside, mingling with locals over a home cooked meal, and getting to work at Soa Moab on Main Street has been a real treat.
Q: Favorite tool to use on site – embodied, power and/or hand tool(s)
circular saw! It was a total challenge at first and I thought I’d be scared of it but we’re good buds now.
Q: Most interesting, inspired and/ or favorite book you’ve read ?
While I was here I read “The Unsettlers” by Mark Sundeen, who, I learned, was sort of a CR intern at one point. I thought he did a really good job at getting a close up look into various people’s lives and did some fascinating research about what it takes to have a good modern “simple” life. Turns out—it takes lots of hard work!
Q: Most helpful and/or favorite quote of your life ? Or perhaps one you’d like to table/share ?
“find your breath.” When in need of centering or if I’m freaking out or worried or unsure, I remember to focus on my breath just going in…and out…and that helps me stay in the present moment.
Q: What do you most enjoy doing on build site ?

dance breaks, of course. But no, actually what I love is just pairing up with a partner and solving problems all day long. It feels really good to figure something out with someone.

Q: Any shout outs to people, places, things ?

Shout out to everyone in my house—I know there are some people I’ve spent more time with than others but I’m extremely grateful to have spent some unique, original, authentic, hillarious, and overall incredible moments with each person. Also, a shout out to the homeowners because they were SO cool and so chill and so much fun!!!!!! I love you Valencia, Murice, Jess and Thayne! We were really lucky to have homeowners to work side by side with who are easy to be around.

FLORA, IN ACTION ON SITE !

Hey y’all here is one of several posts about… our Bunkhouse Build Team ! A mix of photos, Alumni/Intern spotlights, Natural Building. Check out our mud filled fun !

 

 

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FLORA           –     INTERN     –     Question & Answer

 

Q:  Where are you from ?

A:  Brooklyn, New York. Came here from Austin, Texas.

 

Q:  What do you hope to learn/ primary focuses for the Bunkhouse Build ?

A:  I guess alternatives to traditional construction.

 

Q:   Hobbies/ Moab specific activities you enjoy?

A:  Riding bikes.

Q:  Favorite tool to use on site – embodied, power and/or hand tool(s) ?

A:  The hammer is pretty empowering. Also the catspaw. There are so many good tools out there.

 

Q:  Most interesting, inspired and/ or favorite book you’ve read ?

A:  ‘ Chosen Country: A Rebellion in the West ‘ by James Pogue. It was illuminating of the culture in the West and Public Lands. As well White Male entightelment.

Q:  Most helpful and/or favorite quote of your life ? Or perhaps one you’d like to table/share ?

A:

 

Q:  What do you most enjoy doing on the build site ?

A:  Framing. Its like a life size puzzle.

 

Q:  Any shout outs to people, places, things ?

A:  America Youth Works in Austin. Also Bike and Build.

 

ANNI, IN ACTION ON SITE!

Hey y’all here is one of several posts about… our Fall 2018 Build Team ! A mix of photos, Alumni/Intern spotlights, Natural Building. Check out our mud filled fun !

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Here we have Anni misting the brown coat, a necessary step in prepping the wall for plaster. When working with plasters, you always add wet materials to a wet surface.

ANNI         –        FALL 2018 INTERN         –        Question & Answer 

Q: Where are you from ?

Whitefish, Montana

Q: What do you hope to learn/ primary focuses for the this Build/ here with Community Rebuilds ?

My hope was for the process of building a house to seem less daunting at the end of the program,  equipped with a basic understanding of natural building. I hope to come away with many new skills and friends, feeling empowered and strong.

Q:  Hobbies/ Moab specific activities you enjoy?

I love playing music with friends, biking on slickrock, eating and reading taro cards at 98 center, going to events at the MARC, chilling at red rock bakery, and exploring the mountains and rivers and canyons.

Q: Favorite tool to use on site – embodied, power and/or hand tool(s) ?

I love a good trowel and sponge. I also enjoy using a hammer.

Q: Most interesting, inspired and/ or favorite book you’ve read ?

A River Runs Through it by Norman Maclean

Q: Most helpful and/or favorite quote of your life ? Or perhaps one you’d like to table/share ?

“It seems that a lot of people my age try to be interesting by having problems or starting conflicts. I’d rather be interesting because I created something beautiful.” – person in a Humans of New York book I read at red rock

Q: What do you most enjoy doing on build site ?

Plastering or hammering. Also, drinking tea and eating lunch in the sun with everyone. Or petting Terra.

Q: Any shout outs to people, places, things ?

My band mates, parents, fellow interns, the Moab landscape and community, hot toddies, wool socks, and Cole’s fresh-baked bread.

TRISTAN, IN ACTION ON SITE!

Hey y’all here is one of several posts about… our Fall 2018 Build Team ! A mix of photos, Alumni/Intern spotlights, Natural Building. Check out our mud filled fun !

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Tristan making a precise measurement 

TRISTAN         –        FALL 2018 INTERN         –        Question & Answer 

Q: Where are you from ?

Huddersfield, United Kingdom

Q: What do you hope to learn/ primary focuses for the this Build/ here with Community Rebuilds ?

I’m primarily here with CR to learn more about sustainable construction techniques

Q:  Hobbies/ Moab specific activities you enjoy?

Mountain biking, hiking, camping, yoga, trail running, swimming

Q: Favorite tool to use on site – embodied, power and/or hand tool(s) ?

Any joinery tool

Q: Most interesting, inspired and/ or favorite book you’ve read ?

Michael Pollan’s books

Q: Most helpful and/or favorite quote of your life ? Or perhaps one you’d like to table/share ?

Persistence beats resistance!

Q: What do you most enjoy doing on build site ?

Joinery/carpentry

Q: Any shout outs to people, places, things ?

The local Moabite who kindly lent me a great full-suspension bike whilst here. It’s given me the freedom to explore some of the best mountain bike trails in the World! Oh, and I think I’ve fallen in love with Colorado! Moab is great too, but CO just keeps giving…

WILLIAM, IN ACTION ON SITE!

Hey y’all here is one of several posts about… our Fall 2018 Build Team ! A mix of photos, Alumni/Intern spotlights, Natural Building. Check out our mud filled fun !

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Here, William is sporting some important tools on the job site. A tool belt to keep you organized, a speed square for precision, a hammer to get the job done, and, most importantly, eye protection to keep you safe. 

WILLIAM         –        FALL 2018 INTERN         –        Question & Answer 

Q: Where are you from ? 

Central Mass., Philly, SF Bay Area, also probably Hades or a distant galaxy.

Q: What do you hope to learn/ primary focuses for the this Build/ here with Community Rebuilds ?

Develop natural construction skills and conquer my fear of small heights.

Q:  Hobbies/ Moab specific activities you enjoy?

Writing, roller skating, plant things, venn diagrams, kickboxing, helping children + young people imagine new worlds + senses of themselves thru art-making. Swimming in the Colorado = river siren dreams come true.

Q: Favorite tool to use on site – embodied, power and/or hand tool(s) ?

Close tie between nail gun and bubble level, as they are uniquely temperamental and require some calm.

Q: Most interesting, inspired and/ or favorite book you’ve read ? 

Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa (1987); Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth by Elizabeth Grosz (2008); Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation by Sylvia Federci (2004); also literally anything by Italian theorist Franco “Bifo” Berardi.

Q: Most helpful and/or favorite quote of your life ? Or perhaps one you’d like to table/share ?

“.. one of the exciting parts about growing up is that you get to disappoint people.” – Amy, circa 2013. and “Don’t let the world rob you of your softness.” – Court, circa like two weeks ago.

Q: What do you most enjoy doing on build site ?

Supporting my instructors and coworkers, troubleshooting tricky situations. Impromptu dance parties and heart-to-hearts also make for nice ruptures in construction minutia.

Q: Any shout outs to people, places, things ?

Friends and students in Bay Area braving the fires and air-quality index of 240. Infinite love to Kc, Maryan, Shannon, Lauren, Jeff, Darin, all the besties I can’t fit in this Q&A section. Also all the Scorpios in my life who will make it out of 2018 Scorpio Season okay ❤

Looking Back

December is nearing. Like every year, I am overcome with the coziness that Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season brings and eager to sip warm beverages and see sparkling lights outside. But this December, the upcoming end to our semester and completion of two houses is in the forefront of my thoughts and those of my fellow interns.

 

In July, we poured the foundation. We built upon that, adding framing and roof trusses and filling the interior floor with packed mud. Soon enough, the straw bales were loaded in and interior framing began to give us an idea of what Jessica and the Millers’ houses would look like. Then came drywall, and plaster, plaster, plaster. Each layer of the house is not just a physical layer; in my mind it’s a day shared with friends and teachers, with laughter and stress and sweating or shivering, learning and asking questions along the way. With a final, finished plaster coat, we are down to the last eighth of an inch of the house.

I like words. Small pieces of power to take with you. One of my favorite pieces of power has been from a poem by Nick Laird: “there is such a shelter in each other”. Shelter has been a human necessity since the beginning of time – food, water, shelter. This is what has made me passionate about increasing access to affordable housing and what drew me to Community Rebuilds. The need for housing is universal and important. I’m so thankful for the last five months that have allowed me to work towards completing a physical manifestation of the meeting of that need.

When I think about shelter in a less physical sense though, I think about the shelter you can find in other people, like Laird wrote. Maybe we can consider this blog post as a little love letter to the intern group and CR community. Through the process of building these houses, my housemates have built shelter in and around each other as well. It’s been beautiful to observe and be a part of.

 

There’s certainly something romantic about the idea of buildinga house; the earnest desire to work with one’s hands, the gratification about the completion of a project, and the setting being here in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. But as one of my housemates recently put it, the construction site is maybe one of the least romantic places to be, with its piercing noises and flinging mud and general hazards. The day to day, while gratifying, is also tiring and can be stressful. Maybe you get to know people best when you are immediately introduced to them in stressful, or, in our case, extremely hot conditions. I’m thankful to those who offered me grace when the 105 degree heat made me one of the least lovable versions of myself. As the roofs of the homes went up and gave us shade, my housemates too sheltered me with their support.

 

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In late September and early October, Moab received what I understood to be an uncharacteristically high amount of rain. We spent one morning at the window, in awe of the buckets of rain appearing out of nowhere in the desert and observing the pattern that the water would take as it moved around the house. That weekend, when it had rained so much that the novelty had long worn off, I sat at home by myself. The rain had made me think that I should spend some time in melancholic solitude, but I was quickly getting restless. As if reading my mind, a housemate texted me that they were watching the frisbee tournament, and that I should join. I was the last to pile into the covered back of a pickup truck, complete with blankets and fresh bread. Sheltered from the rain; sheltered by the friends who knew I needed coziness shared with others that day.

 

Lately, it’s been very cold. Some say they miss the heat of the summer, but I know better than that. After long work days and early sunsets, the warmth of our home on Mill Creek Drive is amplified by the conversations, laughter, and shared meals each night. I am overcome with gratitude for the home we have made for ourselves at night after we build homes for the homeowners during the day.

 

The collaboration in building these shelters for one another has been the most meaningful part of this experience so far. We will move on, move away, and maybe keep building elsewhere. I am eager to feel the gratification of completing these houses in a couple of weeks, to finish the final eighth inch layer. I am overwhelmed with sentimentality and will continue to be. I will feel tethered by witness to this place and these people for a long time.

 

JAMIE, IN ACTION ON SITE!

Hey y’all here is one of several posts about… our Fall 2018 Build Team ! A mix of photos, Alumni/Intern spotlights, Natural Building. Check out our mud filled fun !

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Here we have Jamie taste testing an earthen plater mix for our finish plaster workshop!

JAMIE         –        FALL 2018 INTERN         –        Question & Answer 

Q: Where are you from ?

I am from Virginia.

Q: What do you hope to learn/ primary focuses for the this Build/ here with Community Rebuilds ?
I came into this experience hoping to learn more about different approaches to creating affordable housing. Natural building is a unique solution to the affordability problem in Moab, and I’ve really enjoyed learning the details of the process.
Q:  Hobbies/ Moab specific activities you enjoy?
Bike Party and Skate Night have been really awesome community activities and definitely have been some of my favorite moments here. Swimming in Mill Creek was dreamy too, when the weather was still warm.
Q: Favorite tool to use on site – embodied, power and/or hand tool(s) ?
Something about the oscillating saw is very satisfying.
Q: Most interesting, inspired and/ or favorite book you’ve read ?
For a while now, my favorite book has been On Beauty by Zadie Smith. She has such an informed sense of the concurring realities of each character in the book, as well as a way of making simple phrases poignant. I recommend it to basically everyone I meet.
Q: Most helpful and/or favorite quote of your life ? Or perhaps one you’d like to table/share ?
“There is such a shelter in each other” This reminds me of why we’re here: to build physical shelter in the form of a straw-bale house but to find emotional shelter in the community we build in the process.
Q: What do you most enjoy doing on build site ?
Plastering has so far been my favorite thing that we’ve done. I really enjoyed troweling the earthen floor as well.
Q: Any shout outs to people, places, things ?
Shout out to worms.

AIDAN, IN ACTION ON SITE!

Hey y’all here is one of several posts about… our Fall 2018 Build Team ! A mix of photos, Alumni/Intern spotlights, Natural Building. Check out our mud filled fun !

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Aidan showing off a newly installed base metal flashing, a necessary part of every CR home. Flashing protects the joint between the concrete foundation and exterior wall, keeping water out of the wall and foundation.

(EAST) AIDAN         –        FALL 2018 INTERN         –        Question & Answer 

Q: Where are you from ?

Boston MA

Q: What do you hope to learn/ primary focuses for the this Build/ here with Community Rebuilds ?

I came in curious about sustainable building practices, but now my focus has shifted to building community resiliency and regenerating the integrity of a place and its people.

Q:  Hobbies/ Moab specific activities you enjoy?

Riding down the bike path along the creek in the fall is such a delight, and I always enjoy my trips up to the top of the mesa, whether at Sand Flats, Arches or Canyonlands.

Q: Favorite tool to use on site – embodied, power and/or hand tool(s) ?

Framing nail gun! Bang bang!

Q: Most interesting, inspired and/ or favorite book you’ve read ?

Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre. A beautifully grotesque and poetic critique of America’s obsession with violence.

Q: Most helpful and/or favorite quote of your life ? Or perhaps one you’d like to table/share ?

“Don’t let school get in the way of your education.” – this quote has been attributed to Mark Twain, but that’s unconfirmed. At certain times in my life I’ve used this quote as an excuse to skip class, but these days it helps me stay curious and open minded.

Q: What do you most enjoy doing on build site ?

Yelling at people! Just kidding. I have really enjoyed the days where I can stand next to one or two other people and get to know them better while we smear mud on the walls. To have such strong interpersonal connections embodied in the walls of each home is very special.

Q: Any shout outs to people, places, things ?

Hello parents, you wonderful people. You have made it possible for me to explore this incredible place and be curious in all facets of my life, and I will always be grateful for that.

Our Living Future

 

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With the new intern bunkhouse well underway, we have exciting plans for the old campus


In October 2018 Community Rebuilds and ArchNexus officially registered to build the first fully certified Living Buildings in Utah. While CR homes are already energy positive and naturally built, becoming part of the challenge will push the health and resiliency of our homes. This is not only the first project registered in Utah, but it is the first to be built for low income residents. Affordability is key in sustainability and we want to prove that healthy, restorative buildings can be affordable for everyone. 

Undertaking the Living Building Challenge (LBC) is especially important in this day and age where scientists are pleading with the public to change our impact on the earth before it is too late. We so often hear the narrative that humans are separate from and detrimental to nature. Programs like the LBC lobby for a change in that narrative and argue that people can be in harmony with nature and restore the environment through buildings and design. Buildings can be more than just sustainable, they can have a positive impact on our environment, not just neutral one.

The LBC is a certification system for regenerative buildings, which function as cleanly and efficiently as a flower. These buildings are self-sufficient– collecting more energy and water than they use. They are deeply tied to place, and built from simple, natural, local, non-toxic materials and designed based on the natural systems around them. They connect occupants with light, air, food, nature, beauty, and community. It is the most rigorous “green” building certification there is and pushes the expectation for good design.

We have partnered with Salt Lake City firm Architectural Nexus to design and build several LBC certified homes on our beloved Mill Creek property. Beginning next semester, interns will live in our new straw bale bunkhouse, which is under construction now (fall 2018). The house CR interns have called home for the past four years will then be deconstructed, salvaging as much as possible. The property will become the site of these new LBC homes. A place with such a cherished history is the perfect location for a such a beautiful future.  

Construction on the first home is expected to begin in Fall 2019. Updates on the project will be posted to our website and this blog. We are excited to journey further into restorative design through the LBC and continue creating new realities for affordable homes. I am deeply grateful for our partners at ArchNexus for making this project possible and guiding us through the process. Find out more about the Living Building Challenge here, and about our partners at ArchNexus here.

Satisfaction Clips

Building a home is demanding work. Moving in with 16 random people in a new town for 5 months can be incipiently uncomfortable. Learning to read a tape measure down to the 16th can be v. daunting. Waking up at 6:00 AM to go do real construction for 8 hours? Some may say it sounds ridiculous. The funny thing is, all those back breaking and somewhat unattractive requirements are what draw the very unique individuals to do it. When talking to recruiter, Claire Spalding, about how she selects who gets in, she noted that the volunteers kind of find the internship on their own, actually. Thus, the people I’ve come together with are a group of individuals that have a similar mindset to me, and I am able to relax and take a moment to realize it’s not all so bad. So far, I’ve had a great time, and have found the following “satisfaction clips,” to be some of the best soul soothing moments so far.

Waking up to a view of the red rocks everyday outside my window

Raking gravel to a level surface

Sinking a nail into a 2×4 in less than 10 strikes of the hammer

Cooking a decent tasting meal for 16 people, with leftovers, for $40

Learning how to read a tape measure correctly, with no hints

Making a cut to exactly how long it needs to be on the first try

Hiking in Sand Flats for the beauty and the sirene, almost piercing, silence

Realizing you live only 8 minutes from Arches and it’s free after 5PM

Telling my mom on the phone I’m going to the Mayor’s house for tacos

Riding a bike to work and getting a built in warm up for the day

Pulling tape off a freshly plastered wall to reveal clean lines

Cutting strips of reed matting with tin snips through to the end without any pauses

Smoothing out concrete with a magnesium trowel

Seeing snow on the la sal mountains

Hanging anything up with a Brad nailer

Yelling “Hoddy!” for a plaster refill

Eating anything from Milt’s

Breakthrough moments when learning to work with various types of personalities

Double high fives with teammates for accomplishments

A breeze in the 105 degree weather

Hanging drywall with an impact driver and referring to yourself as a “scrangel,” aka a screw angel, as well as basically ANY puns that hit

Stepping back from the pallet wall you assembled and seeing that it actually fits in the wall

Removing boots and bra at the end of the day

Telling pretty much everyone who you meet about the internship

Massage trains with housemates

Seeing each person’s unique beauty and talent daily

Being in a space to be the best version of myself

Drinking my weight in water out of necessity

When someone makes coffee on site and there’s enough for me too

Dunking my hands into earthen plaster

Watching my roommate jump into a hole filled with water and clay- with her shoes on (only happened once, but was very satisfying!)

The warm sun on my back as I oil wood slats

Making up funny songs about construction like “I’m rasping away, set an open sail, for the rasping seas…”

The comforting feeling that you can ask an instructor an unlimited amount of questions and they won’t think you’re dumb

Laughing a lot, snorting, and laughing some more

Being so worn out from plastering a wall that I fall asleep at lunch with the next bite still on my fork

The positivity and support that radiates from my housemates when I need a shoulder to lean on

Knowing deep down that I am contributing to a great cause

Finding ways to live a little more simply and creatively

Those are just some satisfying moments that have worked their way into my memories that I will keep forever as clips that reshape and reform my perspective on hard work, communal living, and giving back.

ANNE, IN ACTION ON SITE !

Hey y’all here is one of several posts about… our Bunkhouse Build Team ! A mix of photos, Alumni/Intern spotlights, Natural Building. Check out our mud filled fun !

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Here we have Anne carrying diamond lath, lovingly referered to on site as blood lath! 

ANNE           –         ALUMNI          –    Question & Answer 

Q:  Where are you from ?

A:  Netherlands

Q:  What do you hope to learn/ primary focuses for the Bunkhouse Build ?

A:  Strengthening the skills I already have. First time around you dont know the next step. Second time Im more prepared and can anticipate what to expect. Knowing when you can move fast and sloppy and when you should give more attention to detail. As well organizational aspects, Id like to have some kind of building collective in the future so knowing more in depth the materials we are using. Also learn more creative applications of plaster use – the groovy stuff. 

Q:   Hobbies/ Moab specific activities you enjoy?

A:  Foraging. I see dumpster diving as urban foraging, but I prefer picking up nuts from the ground.  I started pottery here in Moab. Clay is a wonderful medium for creative expression. I like to do a little bit of everything. I like hikes alot, especially near water or rock art.

Q:  Favorite tool to use on site – embodied, power and/or hand tool(s) ?

A:  There was one the other day… The pry bar, it makes taking nails out so easy. The palm nailer is also pretty awesome. Great scoopers for plaster !

Q:  Most interesting, inspired and/ or favorite book you’ve read ?

A:  ‘ The Power of Myth ‘ by Joseph Cambell

Q:  Most helpful and/or favorite quote of your life ? Or perhaps one you’d like to table/share ?

A:  Joseph Cambell about how often people think they need meaning in their lives, but they are actually seeking the feeling of being alive. – Those feelings of looking at the stars or getting lost in a sunset… Thats all you need. Thats all I need.

Q:  What do you most enjoy doing on the build site ?

A:  I really like making ergonmic improvments. Setting up good work stations so people dont get hurt. Also creating solutions and problem solving in a creative manner.    – And making obessivly perfecty plaster walls ! I feel sometimes I need an outlet for O.C.D.

Q:  Any shout outs to people, places, things ?

A:  Donnie & Khaki. I went on a clay harvest, we celebrated the colors and process. You can make houses, bricks, mugs – I need the connection. Moab has given me a love of clay. Also to Barb the clay Mother at Desert Sun Ceramics for teaching people to be playful and be non-judgmental in their creative expression.

REID, IN ACTION ON SITE !

Hey y’all here is one of several posts about… our Bunkhouse Build Team ! A mix of photos, Alumni/Intern spotlights, Natural Building. Check out our mud filled fun !

 

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Here we have Reid using a circular saw to cut this 2×4 to the proper length. Checking saw depth, a foot on the wood and it stays safely in place. Check out the strength in this stance ! 

 

REID          –      AMERICORPS MEMBER        –   Question and Answer 

 

Q:  Where are you from ?

A:  I grew up in Northern Virginia

 

Q:  What do you hope to learn/ primary focuses for the Bunkhouse Build ?

A:  I dont have a precise goal of what to learn. More so I want to see start to finish construction. And more about Natural Building, Im here to observe and I’ll learn a lot of course.

 

Q:   Hobbies/ Moab specific activities you enjoy?

A:  I like hiking. Theres a lot of different landscapes to Moab. Just walking around and seeing it. Especially being from the East Coast. The forests here are different, the mountains and land forms. Red Rock is wild.

 

Q:  Favorite tool to use on site – embodied, power and/or hand tool(s) ?

A:  My favorite tool in general is a glazing tool I have from home, it is not at all something I use on this job site. Ive restored a lot windows and really love the process.

 

Q:  Most interesting, inspired and/ or favorite book you’ve read ?

A:  I really like the book I am currently reading that a friend gave me. It’s called ‘ At Home in the Heart of Appalachia ‘ by John O Brien. Its a book about West Virginia. A history of the State. How people perceive it and all the social impacts of the extraction industries.

 

Q:  What do you most enjoy doing on the build site ?

A:  Framing is really cool. I don’t have the most experience since I have usually worked with old buildings and finish work. My favorite projects have been the little creative pieces like making the arch doorway.

 

Q:  Any shout outs to people, places, things ?

A:  Well I am able to be here through Americorps, its a great program. Im so glad to have been in the AmeriCorps program the past two years.  Also shout out to West Virginia, I love and miss it there, its such a wonderful place.