Friday, March 27, 2009

Final Workday


The alarm went off at 6 am and I got up to make the coffee. I quickly discovered that the heavy rains overnight had caused flooding throughout our building. A good portion of the floors in the common areas, including bathrooms and the shower room were covered with water. Kathy and Roxanne quickly got to work laying towels around to soak up the water so that people didn't slip as they walked thru the building. Evidently this happens on a regular basis when it rains a lot-the staff here didn't seem too concerned. Needless to say, mold is an issue....

So in my earlier epistle, The Story of Day 3, I forgot to write down a major important fact (I wasn't tired or anything...). The barge, which was parked in the canal by the 9th Ward and was not supposed to be there, is what broke the levy and caused the horrendous flooding. Robert Green, Jr. showed us pictures of the barge before and after it broke thru the levy. It is interesting to note that a great number of the books about Katrina forget to mention this-they just talk about the flooding as a result of the storm. The flooding of the 9th Ward, destruction of homes and loss of lives was caused by human negligence. That is why it is so amazing to hear the survivors talk of the blessings in their lives and the thankfulness they feel for the volunteers who continue to come and help rebuild. It is going to take a long, long time.

FEMA Trailers - I don't know why, but I thought FEMA trailers were going to be some sort of industrial looking, standard issue trailer. Boy was I wrong! FEMA trailers are cheap RV's not built to withstand the dampness and humidity of this climate. They are run-down and mold covered. Melanie told us she can smell the mold from inside the FEMA trailer at our worksite from insides the house. Yet people are very thankful for the trailers as that means they are back home. It gives us all some perspective on how blessed we are.

Today the team will finish our assigned project. The interior of the house is almost finished and today is the final detail work and clean-up. The house looks beautiful and we are proud of what we have accomplished. We will also be doing a lot of cleaning around the volunteer house and packing up of our stuff. We have to get up pretty early tomorrow and be on the road by 7:30 am. It promises to be a very long day. :)