Andrew Goggans

Our collegial challenge for habitat for humanity went incredibly well. It was a learning and great life experience. I had high expectations for the trip and it was even better. From the moment we arrived in New Mexico I knew it was going to be a good trip. We first had a nice 3 hour bus ride to Taos, the city we were building in. On the way we saw magnificent sights in the desert, like the mountains the mesa’s and my favourite tumble weed.

Arriving at the church we stayed at we unpacked the bus and met the very nice people in charge of the church. They showed us around, told us what’s in the area, and a little about the town. The next 5 days were full of work and play. In the morning we built, in the evening we played. I started off the building with 3 other of my class mates putting weather barrier and insulation on the outside of the house but we soon moved to the roof. Building the roof was my favourite part of the building. We laid a vapour barrier, insulation, decking, and the tar paper on top of that.

One day, I and 4 other of my friends actually stayed behind at the job site for an extra 5 hours to help finish the insulation because there was a storm coming and if the insulation would have gotten wet then it would have been useless. So instead of going to visit a site with the rest of the class we all stayed to help finish. In the evenings we would go to the community center to shower and also to go swimming or play basketball. Most nights were filled with some type of sport being played be it soccer or basketball or Frisbee. We would all eat together sharing the chores. I was part of the cleanup crew.

The people we met in Taos were awesome and couldn’t have been more supportive of everything. After the 5 days of building we were all sad to see our trip in Taos come to an end. We didn’t want to leave, we wanted to stay and help more. But it was off to Santa Fe. We had an amazing time in Santa Fe. We visited museums, the historic part of town, experienced the native cuisine, and visited architectural offices. Albuquerque was just as much fun as Santa Fe. We also visited museums, historic parts of town and we even walked into an architect’s office unannounced to see what it was like.

Long story short, New Mexico 2008 was one of the best experiences of my life. Since we had so much fun we are going to start the chapter at our school next semester. We all became one big family; the students and teachers couldn’t have been closer. The grant that was given was very much appreciated and I want to give a very big thanks to the government for giving us the financial support. My name is Andrew Goggans and I would like to thank you again.