Class of 2022
Habitat for Humanity, Colorado
My internship experience began in Dublin airport where I met Nigel Lynskey. After the fourteen of us arrived at New York we took photos, and everyone went their separate ways to meet their new host families. However, Nigel and I proceeded onto Denver, Colorado in what was a long and tedious flight. We were collected at the airport by our hosts Anthony and Darlene Massey. We were fortunate enough to have two weeks off before starting our jobs with Habitat for Humanity. These two weeks allowed me to really get to know my hosts and Nigel as well as to climatize to the higher altitude and arid environment. During these two weeks we did a lot of sightseeing and hiking. Our host Anthony has a passion for hiking and has summited all 55 peaks over 14,000 in the Rocky Mountain range. I really enjoyed hiking as the scenery was like nothing I had ever seen at home. Habitat for Humanity has the belief that everyone deserves a decent place to live. They achieve this goal through creating safe and affordable housing and home ownership programmes. Flatirons Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1993 and since then has provided more than 100 families with a safe place to call home. Boulder is a wealthy city, and I was shocked that 50% of people in the city spent more than 30% of their income on housing and that 30% of people spent more than 50% of their income on housing. Including myself and Nigel there are 3 other full time site workers with Habitat for Humanity, Linda, Utah, and Brendan. We worked Tuesday to Saturday with volunteers helping on a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. I really enjoyed the blend of staff only and volunteer days, it allowed me to gain a valuable insight into American construction methods as well as improving my ability to work as a team member and coordinate others. Nigel and I spent our first week testing a building for air tightness and sealing any gaps we saw. After this week we moved to another site that just had its foundation poured I enjoyed this site more as we got a more hands on experience. The Director of Construction, Linda, was very good at letting Nigel and I watch on-site demonstrations of different aspects of the build, such as how to construct and seal a window opening or how to insert rim joists and mudsills. These demonstrations ensured I had the knowledge and confidence required to aid the volunteers when they had queries. I really enjoyed the demonstrations as it created the perfect opportunity for asking questions and made me feel like a valued member of the team. Aside from work, our host family Anthony and Darlene were brilliant for bringing us to different places and events as well as introducing us to many Irish friends of his along the way. One of my favourite events was a rodeo in Cheyenne. This summer has been an experience that I will never forget, and I would like to thank Denis Mulcahy, Catherine Flood and Anthony Massey along with the countless others who has made this such a memorable experience.