Maranatha Project Wrapped Up

Another week has passed, and we have wrapped up the Maranatha project redoing 34 rooms in Rees Hall, the girls’ dorm at Union College.  We have spent the last three weeks ripping out the desks/dressers and bookshelves out of the rooms, as well as light fixtures, electrical outlets and more.  We were simultaneously turning big piles of beautiful wood into beautiful and strong cabinets and bookcases.  So we manufactured 68 of the cabinets, involving a total of 340 drawers, and 68 bookcases.  Solid oak face frames and drawer fronts not only look great, but should last forever.

I could show you hundreds of pictures, taken by the Maranatha team leaders, and some more that I shot, but I’ll spare you that.

Here is one of the best rooms pre-renovation.

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And here is what it looks like with new flooring and cabinets…  OK, my picture with the lap drawers in and the baseboard placed is not uploading… hopefully soon!

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Here are a few shots of work in the shop:

 

Parts started multiplying and taking up lots of space!

 

Units had to be moved a lot just to find spots for new ones to be stained and lacquered.

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Then all the finished furniture had to be taken across campus and up to the third and fourth floors!  Thankfully they used a SkyJack to lift them all up and through a window opening.  Here is a load of drawers being sent up.

 

Of course there was a ton of cleaning to be done… Here’s Kathy going above and beyond by vacuuming a part of the shop… note the spot in the lower left that she hasn’t gotten to yet!

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Obviously, the most important job of all was feeding all 100+ volunteers!  Cherryl worked in the cafeteria to aid the otherwise small summertime kitchen crew giving us wonderful food.  Really!

There is supposed to be a nice picture of Cherryl in the kitchen here, but it’s not uploading either!  ARGGG!

 

To close out the week, I’ll show you a few more pictures of the campus:

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Our “home” is just beyond the tennis courts…

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This is a nice little water feature outside the Krueger Science building:

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More Maranatha

64223092_10157373946312380_4495364482846949376_n  We are still hard at work in the cabinet shop, making lots more sawdust and some other stuff too.  Ok, all the desk cabinets are finished, and are being installed, and we are working hard to get drawers finished and bookcases built.

 

In case you can’t read it, the bucket of sawdust and scraps says “Desiccated Coconut”

Here are some of our cabinets being installed in the dorm rooms.  New flooring has been placed, some of it still covered with masking for protection from work in the closet area.

The bookcases we are creating now will be stained to match the lower cabinets, and hung on the wall above them.

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Here are some of the beat up old drawers that we are replacing! Think it’s time??

 

I’ve seen a bit of wildlife on my early morning runs around nearby Holmes Lake.  Lots of Tri-color Blackbirds, a Meadowlark, and other nice birds, but one critter stopped me in my tracks!  A cute little skunk was walking across the trail.  As he leisurely ambled away, it dawned on me that I could take a picture with my phone, so here is proof of a peacable skunk encounter.

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Here are better shots of early morning Holmes Lake…

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Becky, Kevin and our grandkids Dayna and Peter drove down from Minnesota to spend a little time with us.  Kevin worked a couple of days in the cabinet shop with us.  Kevin even let us celebrate his birthday with him! Six flavors of iced bundt cakes… fantastic!

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To celebrate the 4th of July, the shop shut down a couple of hours early, and we went to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo.  I told the gal at the ticket booth I’m not from Lincoln and I’m not a child, but she let me but a ticket anyway.

They are rebuilding this zoo, and it was a nice zoo to start with.  There is a very clever area where kids can climb in a structure that surrounds a monkey cage, so it looks and feels like they are really in with the monkeys.  They have a giraffe feeding area that is set up for little ones to be at giraffe mouth level. Kids can buy lettuce, and then have great fun when the giraffe reaches out with an enormously long tongue and eagerly grabs and gobbles. Lots of gobbling and giggling!

The tiger cage has a jeep bisected by the glass of the enclosure.  If you’re lucky, the tiger will sit in the passenger seat and you can sit by him in the driver’s position.  We didn’t get that photo, but did get some of our grandkids and their cousins.

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A couple of rescued Bald Eagles were being fed.  Magnificent birds! I couldn’t get them to move fully out of the shadows and this guy looks ticked at me for asking!

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We saw a Lemur,

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A Fossa,

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A camel who looks like he could use a dentist,

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and someone else with teeth I’d rather not work on…

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Pretty birds,

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And odd birds,

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(I had to cut this guy in half because a cage wire was in the way!)

And what would a zoo be without Peacocks?

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And a Parrot or two.

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Of course the cutest animals in the zoo were the grandkids and their cousins…

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That evening we had a very special cake… decorated by Dayna and cousin Charlotte, it was very surprising when sliced!  Once again, Becky has created a great fun desert!

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Maranatha

A short post for a long week!  We are at Union College, in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Maranatha Volunteers International is using volunteers to completely refurbish 34 rooms in Rees Women’s residence; the girls’ dorm.  Built in 1958, with an addition in 1965, the  rooms are ripe for refreshing!  We are only doing a small percentage of the rooms, but there will be more projects in the future to cover the whole building.

I got to the college a few days early, and was privileged to help set up for the project.  Director David has basically built a factory in the campus maintenance buildings, to create 68 cabinets, 340 drawers, and 34 bookshelf units.  A massive undertaking to be accomplished in three weeks, and done by volunteer labor!

So I feel like I’ve spent every waking hour in the cabinet shop… and that’s not too great an exaggeration!  Meanwhile, other teams are tearing apart the dorm rooms- removing built-in desk cabinets and bookshelves, repairing walls, and tuning up A/C units.  The walls will be repaired and painted, lighting and electrical fixtures updated, new flooring placed, and then our newly created desk cabinets and new countertops will be installed.

Another group of special people are aiding the cafeteria staff preparing food for this whole team.  Cherryl is working in the kitchen to make sure we all have plenty of good food to keep our energy up!

 

Not sure who this guy with the wild thinning hair is, but I see him in the mirror a lot…

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Lots of lumber turning into cabinets!

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Some have been stained, and will soon be lacquered.

Jerry, one of the great workers on the cabinet team, said he bleeds too easily- his blood thinners make him bleed whenever he is bumped or scraped… and he did that a lot.  So I got him a remedy he could try out…

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We decided we should sign one of the cabinets, so if the world (or the dorm) lasts for another several decades, when they refurbish the rooms again they will find our scrawlings and the date… a sort of time capsule.

So I have no pictures of the demolition of the 34 dorm rooms, but the college has had some photographers around, and they put together the following video: