Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 1 on the Jobsite

The alarm went off at 6 am and Beth rolled out of the bunk to go make the coffee and start breakfast. Karen immediately jumped up and followed (just kidding-we woke her at 7 with Roxanne doing Revelie) Melanie stepped up in the kitchen to get the hot water going and managed to turn the gas main off instead. When the bacon stopped sizzling, we knew there was a problem....oops! it wasn't the hot water!

Jobsite orientation began at 8:30 am at the Peoples UMC, next door to where we are staying. There were at least ten volunteer teams at the orientation and we were the only new team-all the others had volunteered before. We received our assignment of interior painting (Praise be to God!) and flooring installation at a house about 20 minutes away. We proudly put up our Oregon flag, loaned to us from the Columbia River Council of Girl Scouts.

Then we met Mike and here is his story:

Mike and his mom were staying with another family while their home of 12 years was being remodeled when Katrina hit. Water was a foot deep inside the home and they could see it rushing by outside the windows. As the water rose in the house, and up to the roof outside, they had to get into the attic to avoid the water. The water continued to rise and was up to their necks when rescuers arrived and used a chainsaw to cut a hole in the roof so they could escape. They were taken to military trucks which took them to the Superdome where they were turned away and left to fend for themselves on a freeway on ramp for 2 days. They then were transferred around to various cities and states, ending up in Houston where he met a lovely lady and they have a 10 month old girl. He came back to help his mom and oversee the renovation taking place through UMVIM (and our AWOL group is participating