Habitat for Humanity Reflection: Day 4

Kayla Schorr ('14), Eastside News/Features Editor

Yesterday was an extremely busy day, hence my inability to write about it until today.

As it was a half-day at work, we all worked very diligently in order to finish many smaller tasks. The house I worked on did not need as much work as the other. Most people worked on minor painting jobs, spackled empty crevices and cleaned up dirty areas. Others worked outside trying to ready the grounds for landscaping by digging and raking dirt. Since the weather progressively warmed up, working has become a lot more pleasurable.

After a few hours of working, we briefly stopped back at the visitors center to get ready for a few hours in the actual urban part of Birmingham. We spent a few hours in the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, which is actually nationally recognized for its information and interesting nature. The museum talked a lot about the history of the south regarding the path to the civil rights movement. The beginning exhibits showed the differences between life as an African-American and a Caucasian, such as the quality of school desks and special segregated facilities. Farther into the museum, I learned about the path to freedom and the great struggles that occurred in the south with these endeavors. It is very odd to think that segregation was a lifestyle not too long ago. The museum truly pointed out the adversity of this way of life and encouraged us to constantly stand up for beliefs, no matter how much effort must be contributed.

Dinner was definitely a highlight of the trip so far. At the Irondale Cafe (famous for its fried green tomatoes), we enjoyed traditional southern cuisine. I ate a delicious dinner of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, corn bread and peanut butter cake for dessert. I think I can speak for everybody on the trip when I say that, that dinner was absolutely insane.

After dinner, we experienced an iconic habitat tradition–thrift shopping. Various members of our group bought some interesting apparel there for very low prices. I stumbled upon some interesting books, such as the guide to the 1998 SAT, sailor outfits and aged Halloween costumes. Abby Hoffman (’14) even found a photograph of people hiking in a book she bought. I guess the previous owner wanted to leave some kind of marking of his or her ownership.

At about 8:00 p.m., we continued on to another museum, the Southern Museum of Flight. We saw all different kinds of airplanes and listened to experiences from an aviator. Although we were all exhausted, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience at this museum.

After working in suburban Birmingham, it was awesome to see the city yesterday. I truly leaned a lot about the culture here after these experiences.