Updated: Jul 9, 2019
Rolling up to American Steel, I am met with so much excitement to get inside and start helping the vision of this year's Burning Man Temple come to life. Burning Man has always meant something special to me, being in middle school watching people vlog about their journeys on Youtube to embarking on my very own journey, finding a camp, feverishly trying to "be prepared" while understand the ten principles trying not to be a noob that just receives snarky comments on things like the lame questions I asked on the Facebook page a couple of times. Then, to the wake up to life as I travelled to and through the playa for my first time.
I was gracious enough to volunteer on the 2017 build a couple days the summer I was living here and even after my first day, I knew that environment, that culture, and that passion was something I wanted to be a part of. Something I have longed for. I am passionate about having a hand in things I really support and becoming part of the team in any way possible, either big or small. I believe for things that touch my heart as much as something like Burning Man has, it's only right to give back in whatever way I possibly can. I think that validates how special it is to be here, dedicating my summer to the fruition of this piece. This team and atmosphere are so inspirational, I look forward to learning and creating every step of the way.
My first day on site, we started the morning with about 9 volunteers working on the largest truss. The pieces were already cut, we were basically laying them out and connecting them all with braces and mallets. Our approach to efficient building went from gathering after each task would finish, demoing the next, and exerting our energy wherever we could for the next step. I enjoy physical labor that is rapidly changing but using the same techniques because when my perfectionist side comes out, it really is true that perfect takes practices. We finished the first truss by lunch and saw a change in volunteers for the second part of the day. This leg was producing was the second large truss. With about 6 of us went super fast. Turned up the music and had the second 60 footer done in just a couple of hours.
For the rest of the day I cut wood on the chop saw, preparing the webbing of the trusses to be built the following day. This type of labor is different than I am used to and by my eighth hour, I could feel the burn! So rewarding and awesome, though. Swinging those mallets felt like the perfect balance of stress relief and working out.