Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A look around at all of our camps--Bay St, Louis

The good people at our Bay St. Louis site give us a few looks at what the week has been like:

Here goes: (never got a report from Josh's group, which is a shame, since it was a pretty horrific gut job)

Patrick's Team

Recently, SOAR (St. Rose Outreach and Recovery) has begun to change the focus of their efforts to completing reconstruction on houses so that residents can finally return “home.” For our first 2 days in Bay St. Louis, our team has had the privilege of working on the first home that will have been completed “from the studs on up” by SOAR volunteers.

The home is owned by a woman [we think her name is Liz], who suffers from severe arthritis. 554 days after Katina struck, her neighborhood is struggling to recover. Many lots are still uninhabitable, and piles of debris remain on the side of the road. One of the empty lots on her street serves as a depot for returned FEMA trailers.

On our first day, Patrick, Tom, Jen, and Jerry were joined by Grand Rapids residents Chelsea and her mother and SOAR team leader Nicole. The work on that day consisted of sanding drywall and applying quite a bit of mud.

The second day we lost Chelsea, who unfortunately was the best mudder of us all. Most of that day was spent sanding 80% the mud that we applied the day before, as well as putting up a few new sheets of drywall. Finding drywalling to be a lot harder than it looks, we decided to take a break by doing something relatively simple, so we helped out some other SOAR volunteers by picking up their van out of the ditch using our bare hands. Seriously, we really did that. [And regardless of what he says, Patrick DID NOT do this by himself.]

Tomorrow, of course, we will begin by sanding off most of Tuesdays efforts, and hopefully apply the last layer of mud. After we fix that, we hope to prime. Like I said, we hope.

Margaret's Team

Annette's House
Annette is a elderly woman who lives alone. It's a small house with one bath, 4 rooms and kitchen. According to Annette, she wasn't affected by flooding she was affected by, “falling water”, which I'm taking to mean 'rain'.

The first day Chantal and Br. Joe worked on touch-up paint indoors Agnus and I worked on scraping paint from a windowsill and ceiling on the porch of her house.

The second day we had a larger crew of 8, including our site leader Joe. Five of us worked on scraping the tar off of two wooden floors while paint was scraped again on the porch. Primer pain was put on the window frame and ceiling. After lunch we began scrubbing the walls and wood frames, there was a lot of dust and dirt built up on these textured walls. Paint scraping will continue tomorrow and I keep eying a pile of trash in the back yard of Annette's pile that I'm itching to take care of.

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