Before we loaded onto 2 buses, we got a pep talk from our Mayor
after loading onto the 2 buses, we promptly set some ground rules on our bus
then got down to business
16 hours later we arrived in NOLA and set off for our 1st fun activity of the week
where the fabulous Harriet taught us to make some traditional Naw'Lins food
this wanna be chef gives the school 2 thumbs up!
then headed out to Bourbon street
where we may, or may not have busted out the Cupid Shuffle right in the middle of the street
Our 1st day of work was Monday. My team (TEAM AWESOMENESS) would be working on this house
where we mudded/sanded/installed dry wall ALL WEEK!!!!
and sweat a lot, it was unbelievably hot in that house
and took some necessary breaks.
We didn't have working pluming in the house yet, therefore, no toilet. With as much water as we were drinking to stay hydrated and cool, this presented a small problem. Being the resourceful people we are, we started knocking on doors, in search of a nice neighbor who would let us use their facilities. Upon doing so we met the family who lives in this house. They not only opened their home/bathroom to us all week, they also shared their story with us. In short, they stayed in their house during the storm. Spending 4 days in the dark in their attic eating canned goods and drinking hot, but safe, bottled water, before they were "rescued" and told they must leave their home. They were taken by a small boat to a barge that was transporting people out of the area. They were unable to take their dog with them because they did not have a cage to carry him in so they kissed their dog goodbye and boarded the barge which was stocked with lots of ice cold water. They returned 4 months later and were able to rebuild their house and move back in relatively quickly. A year after the storm they got a call from their daughter who was living in Alabama saying she had found their dog in PENNSYLVANIA! The dog was flown from PA to LA the next day and after a few days of getting readjusted, they had their beloved dog back at home with them. It took everything I had not to break down in sobs while listening to their story.
one of my teammates listening to Rudy's story
At night, we ate sinfully good food
and partied like rock stars
heard some amazing Jazz music
and ate more yummy food!
We worked hard, partied hard and ate even harder!
I couldn't have asked to work with a better team of people who will forever hold a special place in my heart
In about 3 weeks, a couple of senior citizens who are on a fixed income and cannot afford to replace the home they lost will call this house home.
I came home with a sweet souvenir too
(my feet the day I got home, and my feet normally)