Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Final Day

March 2nd, 2012
It is sad going to work knowing this will be our final day working with Habitat and Catfish. But most of the siding is done and I got moved to doing something different today. I cut and installed supports and shelves in each closet in the house. It was fun getting to use some power tools and doing something on my own that I could see mostly finished minus a final coat of paint and the addition of a rod for hanging clothes. Catfish was patient with my many questions to try to make these shelves as perfect as possible for the future family who will be living in the house. We stuck around for an extra half hour trying to finish as much work as we could on the house. Although I was disappointed that I won't get to finish the house, I know it is in good hands and will be finished within the next few weeks for a deserving family. A huge part of me wishes I could stay to see the family move in after putting so much into the house.
After work we got to experience gospel mime ministry. This is very different than any form of worship I have ever experienced, but I loved it. It reminded me that all you have to do is trust God and anything is possible. Kind of like how we all trusted that He would help this week would go smoothly and He helped a group of strangers become a group of close friends who didn't want to leave this place or each other.

Scaffolding yet again

Mar 1st, 2012
Siding for another day. Stuck up in the scaffolding yet again. Luckily though we only had a few pieces left to put up on the side of the house. If I have learned anything from the past two days it is that patience is truly a virtue. It took a while for our measurements to be gotten and our boards to come up to us. But we had fun while we waited. The dream team finally finished the siding and caulked the whole side of the house as well. A lot of jokes were made all in good fun as we soaked up the sun (maybe even a little too much as most of us ended the week with some nice sunburns). After accidentally calling Catfish, Crawfish yesterday I was pretty embarrassed, but luckily it seems like he has accepted my mistake and was very patient with us when it came to our million questions about how to cut out siding around the window and how to begin our angled cuts. But speaking of crawfish, we got to spend some more time with JWB and meet his wife, Dagmar while going out to one of his favorite places for some crawfish and dinner.  Morgan
Feb 28th, 2012
While our first day with Habitat could have been smoother, it was a great day nonetheless. After a late start, Catfish quickly caught us up on what we would be doing this week. We would begin with putting up siding and caulking the seams once finished. I never knew siding would be such a difficult job. I knew how to use a hammer coming into the week, but hammering siding is a completely different story, especially when you are up on ladders and need to balance. But by the end of the day it got much easier and I had helped to finish the side of the house! After our long day of work we got to go into the city to experience the sounds of jazz spilling out into the street. The atmosphere of Frenchman Street was incredible and it is a spot I would love to visit again someday.  Morgan

Green Light

Feb 27th, 2012
Today we were supposed to work with Beacon of Hope on an exterior painting job, but unfortunately it is rainy so plans have changed. Instead we worked with Green Light, an organization founded by Andreas Hoffmann in hopes to off set the carbon footprint he created while on tour with his band. Green Light gives out CFL light bulbs in exchange for regular ones which can drastically save residents money as well as reduce the amount of carbon emitted because the lights run off less voltage. We visited 5 houses, getting to hear some of the home owners stories and changing their light bulbs. Changing light bulbs in light fixtures on a ceiling about 12 feet tall is no easy job. The shotgun style house was new to me with a living area in the front then the bedroom behind and then the kitchen and bathroom all in a line with high ceilings, but JWB had told us about this style just the day before. I got to hear the story of Iris and her family during Katrina and how she and her sister are finally reunited and living as neighbors in their old house. After the great injustices they had suffered I was glad to be able to help in any way possible.  Morgan

New Orleans Hospitality

Feb. 26th, 2012
I have already fallen in love with New Orleans. The feeling of community and love in this area is immense. The hospitality expressed by locals is absolutely unmatched by any place I have visited. I am inspired by how proud these people are of their city. I am intrigued by the vibrant colors I see everywhere I turn from the Mardi Gras beads hanging off trees, houses, and banisters to the color of the buildings themselves. The same cheerfulness is found in each person I have had the pleasure to meet so far. From the beyond patient cashier at Walmart who waited about a half hour with us to help us check out our 4 carts of groceries, to John Wilkes Booth who showed us a part of the city that may not always be remembered by all who visit, to the members of the church we visited. I have felt a part of this community from the moment I stepped off the plane and I only imagine that feeling will get stronger with each passing day.   Morgan

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Last day of work done, and looking at the house I realize I had a hand in a small part of all the work. I put up the lovely, leveled, impossible-to-get-a-nail-through siding. I caulked, I cut, I cleaned. It was a great feeling to see the finished product, but I found myself thinking more about the people I worked with. This trip has introduced me to so many amazing people. People who were patient with me lack of skill in the hammering department. People who were willing to go out on a limb, or rather a ladder, to help when there were setbacks. People who were willing to fetch files, pick up nails, and dance on the roof. I am grateful and I hope to remember the amazing people in NOLA, and see and keep in touch with the amazing people in the group. Juliet

Crawfish and Memories

After a long day's work, nothing could be better than going out to eat with JWB and his wife. After a lesson from JWB, I feel like I could tackle any delicious crawfish that comes my way! The photo albums he showed us after dinner also showed me that people can handle any problem that comes their way, but not without each other. It was so moving to hear about the people that offered up their time to help the victims of Katrina. I wish I could have met some of the "hippie" volunteers so I could thank them for getting John and his wife through the disaster, allowing me to meet two very amazing people. Juliet