Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Day Fifteen

Today the Knucklebusters documented the work that we did. Click on the video below to see what events they captured . . . .

Today was a BIG day! While most of the group headed out to their various jobs for Habitat for Humanity, Courtney and Julie remained back in Algiers Point to do the laundry. By our best estimation, Courtney and Julie washed over 327 pounds of laundry (but that is just an estimate). It took over five hours to complete this task but it was well worth it. Everyone was excited to have fresh, clean, and neatly folded clothes!

Our original plan was for the group to split up between our two jobsites, with half of the group continuing to gut the house for Catholic Charities, while the remainder of the group headed out to Habitat for Humanity to work on Natasha’s roof and siding. Knowing our history of slow starts in the morning, we decided it was best for the entire group to begin at Habitat where we would get the most accomplished as a cohesive group before continuing the gutting that we started yesterday.

Thus, we rolled out of camp at about 7:45 a.m. after quickly eating a scrumptious breakfast of oatmeal, granola, and soymilk. Once we arrived at the Habitat site, we were divided into three groups. One group continued working on Natasha’s home, one began (they actually finished) painting another house down the street, and a third started attaching siding to a different home on the same street.

At Natasha’s home, members of our group worked alongside other volunteers that were from Wisconsin. They began chalking the house in preparation for the siding that would cover the entire exterior. It was a little frustrating because the chalk lines were very difficult to keep straight and ended up being rather arbitrary once the siding was put up. Emily, Justin, Juan, Matt, and Shane braved the roof as they nailed decking.

At the painting site, Kellie and Janeva overcame their fear of ladders once again. Together with Feke, Vince, and Soraya, the five finished painting the entire home. They even had some time to spare to begin applying a second coat! Even though we have not had the chance to meet the homeowner of this site, we hope that they will enjoy their brand new peach colored residence.

Even further down the street, the third group began siding another home, while installing windows and building stairs. Pete, the supervisor of the job site, proceeded to give the group a plethora of handy tips including a special technique on how to properly nail siding so that it would be strong against harsh elements.

When lunch time came around, we all enjoyed a delicious meal (prepared by the Fab 5) of Mexican rice, tortilla chips, “meat” (sausage flavored texturized vegetable protein), and velveeta cheese topping. It wasn’t exactly your ideal plate of nachos. Nevertheless, it disappeared quickly with people coming back for seconds.

The clock struck 3pm and it was time for all three groups to quickly reassemble because only half of the day was completed. A short ride later, we arrived back at the Catholic Charities house. Given the new rule that the last person off the bus must set-up the luggable loo (our on-site luxurious restroom), we began gutting in no time. Since we started from the rear of the home, some of us began removing ceiling pieces from the front rooms, while others did meticulous detail work on the rooms that had already been cleared. The various tasks included: removing bathroom tile, pulling out nails, chipping off remaining drywall around door/window trim, knocking out final walls, and of course, shoveling the debris into the pile in the front yard. By 5pm, we were all exhausted and had lost daylight to continue on. We then decided to head back for camp for the day.

During the bus ride home, some of us decided that we would quickly hop on the ferry immediately upon arrival at camp to grab some beignets at Café Du Monde. We unanimously decided that we would have dessert before dinner and beignets would be perfect, especially after this long day of work. While those who went on the beignet run were retrieving our treat, the rest of us proceeded to have a dance party in the kitchen tent. Some partook in meringue, while others stuffed their faces with popcorn. This mini fiesta was just what we needed to lift our spirits.

Tomorrow we will experience a change of pace: gardening. To prepare, some of us headed to bed around 11pm while some us took a little more time putting away our crisp and clean clothing.

A newly-styled Justin and Matt take measurements for roof decking. Last night what started out as simple haircut became a bit of entertainment as Kellie, Courtney and Emily convinced Justin to go with a Mohawk and gleefully performed the job with an electric shaver. We found it so entertaining that many of the guys and at least one of the young ladies were on the verge of sporting Mohawks themselves.

Matt and Shane perch upon the rafters amongst the trusses with Alisha, one of our Habitat for Humanity staffers.

Aaron makes a very precise cut for one of the braces for the roof. This tricky job required a great deal of trial and error and patience, which Aaron and his partner Elijah exhibited in abundance. It involved compound angles and brought them nightmares of high school geometry.

Keith, a Habitat for Humanity long-term volunteer from Virginia is known as “Commander-in-Chief of the Roof.” Here he stands at his post upon the roof decking and surveys what needs to be done with some of his “troops” for the day, Justin, Emily and Juan.

As the saying goes, “Waste not, want not.” In order to conserve that precious resource we know as powdered sugar, Bryan with mouth open wide catches the excess that drifts down after Bree takes a bite during our quick beignet run to the world famous Café Dumond.

Today Jed helped fix a bent nail for another group. He assisted many groups during the day that needed help.

During our lunch break, we inhale our “NOLA Nachos,” prepared by the Fab Five. Mexican rice, ‘meat,’ and Velveeta cheese.

Our large group split up today leaving half of the group to finish the roof on Natasha’s house. We were excited and honored to take part in the construction of her house.

This was an abandon building across from one of the houses we were working on. The scene from the backyard was very eerie.

Sonrisa Colgate! En un dia lleno de nubles y frio se encuentra el senor Feke y su dama Lindsay. Los dos companeros pasaron su adventuras trabajando como abejas pero sonriedo como ninos. (for English press SAP)

SMC students join forces with the invincible Habitat for Humanity leader, Caitlyn, to complete an outstanding panting job. This job only took them one day. Way to go Team!

Janeva and Kellie demonstrate their artistic skills while also showing great balance on a 24-foot ladder.

Is it a bird, is it a plane, no no no it's mighty mouse Soraya. Literally, the woman climbs ladders that make grown men cry. For example, here below we can see her in the Habitat for Humanity’s house in action painting at an incredible speed. GO Soraya.

The team returns to the hotel on wheels (bus) after a hard day with Habitat with Humanity. Their task consisted of installing windows and putting up a siding around the house. As you can see they were all happy with the outcome.

Bree chugs the remnants of her pickle; anxiously drinking the pickle juice from the bag. Everyone on the bus cheered her on as she finished proudly.

Emily stands tall on the ladder as she tries to tear down the upper wall. Efforts like these have brought us close to completing the gutting of this house.

After a day at Habitat for Humanity, the group poses for a picture!

Vince, Janeva, Soraya, Feke, and Kellie painted a whole house in one day! We’re sure the homeowners will be pleased with the nice peach color.

Rachel meticulously takes measurements in preparation for the siding which will be adhered to the new home.