I’m back! Sorta.
Here is part two of my New Orleans trip. This will cover the days we were working.
When it came time to work, we signed up with St. Pauls Homecoming Center. They have a list of homeowners who have come to them for help. When the center gets groups of volunteers like ourselves they send us out to the homeowners. We worked with a man named Marty Martinez. A very respectable man, who really cared about his house, as it had been his father’s from many many years ago. (Marty’s stories were a joy to hear, often humorous, and always inspiring.)
Our work at Marty’s consisted of cleaning the “jungle” behind his house, ripping up old floor boards (yup, I got a nail stuck in my foot doing this, even with hiking boots!), tearing down walls, power washing ALOT, painting two sheds (home owners can actually get fined for having poorly maintained properties down in NOLA), moving a HUGE & HEAVY 18th? century safe (it took 6 “men” to get it onto the bed of a pick up truck!) I got to know Marty and his son Reggie pretty well. Reggie is also an Eagle Scout, so it was cool knowing that I was helping one of my own. The bond that I personally had with the family that we were helping is enough to encourage me to go back down, given the financial opportunity.
COOL STORY: On the last night of our stay, we went down to Bourbon Street to have a good ‘ole time before we left in the morning. Needless to say, we got back to Annunciation Mission pretty late. Marty, the homeowner for whom we had worked for was in the parking lot, waiting for us. He had been there for 3 hours, just waiting. What a guy.
On the last working day, we participated in the Green Light NOLA (http://www.greenlightneworleans.org/) Green Light NOLA is a team on a mission to replace regular, old lightbulbs with new, energy efficient CFLs. Our “chauffer” (shout out to Sue!) brought us around local neighborhoods to deliver and install the lightbulbs for FREE to homes that were on our list. It was surely a change of pace, as it wasn’t nearly as physically demanding, and we got to interact with more than one family.