Making the decision to come to Moab was not a hard decision to make. The area is very attractive for an adventurous soul like myself. The outdoor adventure activities are abundant and too many to list. I’m into mountain biking and Moab has been an amazing play ground to explore. Some of my roommates are more into hiking or climbing or getting out on the river. There is no shortage of fun outdoor activities.
But I came here looking for more than just a playground. I came here to join Community Rebuilds and take on a real challenge. I wanted to push myself out of my normal comfort zone. Living in community has challenges, building houses has challenges, working for no monetary exchange has challenges. Not to mention the L.B.C. challenge, which is the “Living Building Challenge”,a strict home building standard that CR has taken on for the first time this semester. I’ve never been one to shy away from a good challenge and I’ve found one here.
I think of building a house of any kind like putting together a big puzzle, one for which you first make the pieces and then stick them all together in a certain order. At the start you just have things like a plot of land, wood, straw, dirt, clay, tools and a group of people ready to work and learn. At the end,you hopefully have a functional piece of art. You get to watch your efforts slowly become a home. It’s not an easy challenge. I have run a number of ultra-marathons and I think of this challenge in a similar way. It’s full of emotional highs and lows. At times you love what you are doing and at other times you question why you even started.
Something I have learned about taking on challenges is that when you go through some adversity and you do it with a group, it bonds you. Working through challenges is the fastest way to make lasting friendships. As we near the end of this semester and see our collective efforts materialize into two homes that started as a pile of dirt, I know I’ll leave here with some new knowledge and skills about home building and mountain biking. But what I will value most are the friendships I’ve made along the way – which is what makes it all worthwhile.
Written by Fall 2019 intern, Steve Buijs.