Sorry I missed a day. I spent a lot of time last night with Kim trying to figure out how to best handle all the data from the video she is shooting. Some of it got emailed to her son, who will start to configure it and maybe even post it soon so I can include video on here.
So to catch up- I got a chance to talk to the Senior Pastor at La Croix UMC where we stayed on Saturday night. I asked him the obvious question, “How did you do it?” and “I’m guessing you are an empowering pastor that says ‘let’s try it.'” He said it’s easier to have a baby than to raise the dead, meaning it’s easier to start a new church than to try to resurrect one that is already dead or dying.
We left a little later than we were going to. (This is becoming a theme!) We drove through Memphis, Jackson, etc., and arrived at the place we are being housed around 6:30pm. JoAnn, who is the coordinator of this site we are staying at, gave us a tour and told us about the facility we are at. The facility is at the edge of the French Quarter. We do have to be careful about what we leave outside in the vans, just in case someone wants what’s in there in the middle of the night. We are parking right on the street outside the door to the building. There is a sleeping room for the men, and another for the women. They are pretty comfortable- lot’s of space. There is a kitchen facility that Donna is enjoying, and all the meeting room anyone needs. It is an old building with some charm. I don’t think anyone has taken any pictures of it yet, but when they do, I’ll post them.
Today we got our work assignments. Howard’s team (Ali, Lewis, Ginger, Corrine) are working on a house in a nice neighborhood. The house is owned by Janice, and is split into a duplex, where she and her mom lived until just before Katrina. They have some pretty unique challenges in this house, including a “jigsaw puzzle drywall challenge,” a bathroom vanity that doesn’t fit the space, kind of, and termites.
Janice was the victim of contractor fraud. She paid someone to come and work on her house. They took the money and didn’t do the work.
Bob’s team (Rod St., Matt, and Pete) are working in a not-so-nice part of town, about 5 miles or so west of Howard’s house. I don’t know anything about this homeowner yet. The task so far is to put up some drywall and install cabinets. The team or contractor (?) that put up the drywall in this house, closed in some plumbing before it could be inspected. So some had to be ripped out before it could be inspected. Our job was to re-rock the wall and then install cabinets for the kitchen. While Rod St. and Bob and Matt worked on that, Pete and Rod Sc., and Kim cleaned up the back yard a little, preparing for putting in a deck. This house used to be a duplex, but they are making it one house. The back deck connects the two parts.
Now remember I said this was not so good a neighborhood? We had to attach the cabinets to the wall so that looters couldn’t come in and steal them overnight. We didn’t have time to do it right, so we had to just attach and run.
Now you may notice I left out Donna and Kim and Rod Sc.- Donna is along to help support the team with meals. She had ham dinner ready for us when we got back today. She spent the day at our housing site (North Rampart Community Center), cleaning the kitchen and throwing out old, expired stuff, and getting dinner ready for us. She arranged the dining area to facilitate a family like dinner, with everyone sitting at the same table (kind of). She just kept bringing out more food. It was amazing. On past trips, Barbara and Ginger worked hard to do dinner right for us, but they just didn’t have the time to put into it like someone that comes that is committed to serving the team like this. It was amazing. I would even go so far as to say it was better than Ms. Cynthia’s cooking from the last two Biloxi trips we were on. (see old posts about how we raved about Ms. Cynthia’s cooking).