Friday, January 16, 2009
We got over 10 homes done (I will get you a final count soon). We helped the spirits of many in town. We worked very hard at tiring and stressful work. There were no problems with the police (although we sure did get used to talking with them, sometimes with their lights on and parked nearby), and with only 1/2 day to go, no serious injuries. So it was a good trip.
The volunteers were incredibly hard working. One of the hardest working groups we have had from top to bottom. Everyone worked and everyone seemingly got along and had fun.
We had a great time at Bonfires, on runs, and many even at Karaoke. We all felt a sense of accomplishment with a job well done; be it a pulled nail, or a completely gutted house, it is very satisfying to help others and know without a doubt they are better off now than they were before.
But of course I wish we could have accomplished more. I wish we had been able to work a bit later, or to go back after dinner. I wish we had more volunteers. I wish that every resident was back in his/her own redone home. I wish that all the debris was picked up, that all the businesses were open again. And I wish that in our spare time we drew up a Middle East Peace accord, and solved all the world's economic problems.
But we didn't. But we did make this corner of the world a bit better this trip. Better, not perfect. We joke about it often, but that is really all that we can do. And I feel we definitely did that. Things are better.
And sometime in the next few months the people will move back into the homes. This will be at least weeks and probably months ahead of what when they would be had we not worked so hard.
Thank you to everyone who made the trip possible. From DRT, to donors, to those who stayed behind and shoveled walks, walked dogs, and other things to stay warm. Thank you!