Sunday, November 11, 2007

New Orleans Volume 3, 4 and 5!!

Yes, I know. You can yell at me now, I can take it. But I have a good reason to have not posted the remaining reports until now. That is I was soooooooooooo exhausted from sanding, painting (well priming) and ripping up floors that the last thing I wanted to do at 9 at night was think! So please accept my sincere apologies. Here are the updates!

Well Wednesday, Thursday and Friday consisted of the same tasks as before. We began priming the house on Wednesday while Leanne and Dennis continued sanding and adding more mud to the already indecent amount that was currently on the walls. Of course, this was after Leanne took off the 3 inches of mud so that Dennis could add the final coat. Three of us went off to a different house to install cabinets, so that left 8 of us to finish up in the shotgun house. We finished by Thursday afternoon.

On Friday, since we finished early on the shotgun house, we headed to a different house that was right behind one of the canals that broke. Forgive me please, I don't remember which one it was. This house ended up being placed on cinderblocks to prevent further flooding should an event of Katrina's magnitude strike again. However, judging from the water line on the house, it seems that this area also received 6-8 feet of water before it was all said and done.

We spent the morning here pulling up the original subflooring. Boy was that fun! Destruction has an odd way of being much more fun than construction! :) Don't ask me why, it just is.

And last, but not least, here is a photo of most of the crew. This crew was the one that worked in the houses.

Linda's phone-dialing skills have been given a workout, as she's been spending most of her time contacting clients. She's heard some really heartening stories as well as some sad tales. Over and over again she has heard how much people appreciate the work of the volunteers who come to help them. It is good to know that we really do make a difference in the lives of people.

Peggy and Joyce served us just wonderful meals. They received a much deserved break on both Wednesday and Thursday nights as the church provided the meals that night. Neither one was as good as the food that Peggy and Joyce cooked up for us!!

We all arrived home safe and sound on Saturday evening. We were all exhausted but gratified by the experience of helping to return two more families to their homes. There is much to be done still, and we are looking at again going back next spring.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New Orleans Volume 2

Day 2 down! Today we spent the majority of the day sanding and mudding. Our goal is to get to the priming by tomorrow so that we can begin painting before we leave! We all arrived clean and spiffy and left looking like we had massive dandruff and Pig Pen's brother/sister.

Above shows a combination of mudding and sanding! What fun!

To the right, is more mudding. The house is what is known as a double shotgun. It is a duplex with the separate houses running side by side in a long and narrow passage. They appear to be one bedroom, maybe two bedroom houses with a kitchen and living area on either side of the bedrooms. We don't know too much about the home owners yet, we haven't had a chance to meet them, unfortunately. We do hope to!

After we did as much as we could do today (we had to wait for the mud to dry before we can move onto the next step!) we decided to take a couple of the newbies on a trip of the devastated areas of the city. There is still MUCH to be done, but we were very heartened to see that many areas are starting to come back. We visited the house that we worked on last November and were thrilled to see the homeowner is finally back in the house! It just made our day! I'll post a lot of the photos on my facebook site, but here are a few:

Linda spent a good part of her day talking to clients. She talked to one lady who is back in her home, and another who is close. It's so good to see that people are putting their lives back together.

Now we are waiting rather patiently (so I say, but I know I'm not waiting patiently!) for a wondrous meal of roast beef, potatoes and yummy chocolate cake. Needless to say, we are NOT going hungry. :)

Monday, November 5, 2007

New Orleans Volume 1

Well we made it!!!! After a grueling 16 hour or so drive, we arrived in New Orleans around 10:30 this morning. After receiving our marching orders, we headed off to a house on the eastern side of the city. Talking to locals, it seems that this area had about 6 to 8 feet of water. Our particular house is not far from the 17th Street canal, which if I remember correctly, was one of the first canals to fail.

So here's the house. 6-8 feet I would estimate is right above the window unit air conditioners. So this house had to be gutted entirely, from the ceiling to the floors. All of the electrical, plumbing and sheet rock hanging has been done, so we are doing the finishing work. This is a duplex, and our goal is to have both sides as far done as primed by the time the week ends.

So tomorrow, it's more of the same!

Linda is working at the Eastbank Station office again. She spent the afternoon contacting clients to see how they're doing, and if they need additional help. She's glad to report that one person told her that her family is back in their home and that her file could be closed. In the "small world" department, she spoke to a man who is handling details about his parents' house. He is a member of St. Matthews. Another client thanked us for coming to help, and promised to pray that we would arrive home safely.

Joyce and Peggy cooked a scrumptious meal of spaghetti and meatballs. With such good food, we are all bound to be adding a few pounds!

Stay tuned! New Orleans Volume 2 will be coming tomorrow, same place, same time!