Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Day 2

Team XI (or X, there is some question about the status of our Roman numeral) is on the job in full strength. Add April Dixon to the Team XI roster. April's last minute decision to join the team gives her something like stowaway standing in the group.

The daily routine, from this observer's perspective is this:
Wake up. Rummage through luggage for second-cleanest clothing ensemble (cleanest is reserved for restaurants and any other post-shower activities.
Once dressed, repair to Trinity main building for breakfast, or only coffee for those who can't eat till after 9 a.m. (There are continentals among us. Who knew?)
Next, we trundle into two vehicles. One's a Vibe. The other one's a real automobile with real-life space and marvelous accoutrements. All the cool people ride in the real vehicle. I believe it is a Ford Behemoth.
Following a half-hour ride, about 70 people mass in what's called "The Circle". Here, marching orders are dolled out. Safety is stressed. Coffee is sipped. Tales told.
Then we scuttle off to our worksites. Ours is in Lancombe.
Members of our team have painted, put up roof trusses, laid flooring, hung doors -- for a few highlights.
Much red beans and rice has been been consumed.
Our site contains nine houses, all in various states of completion, with a new foundation being poured even as others are being sided, floored, painted.....
The place is crawling with interesting people.
Met two women who stopped in N.O. for a week and stayed for nine or more months. One, Noel, slept in a church set up like ours for three months before buying a trailer.
George is our worksite guru. Most concise description of George: Somebody put workclothes on Patience and Flexibility.
Most the workers we've seen are Habitat volunteers and some (Noel for instance) get a small stipend.
Oh, yeah, temp reached 65 today. Gorgeous day.
Under the circumstances, conditions at Trinity are very good.
Ralph, a Trinity member, read from the Bible this morning at breakfast. His short talk set us up for the day.
The terms "Patience and Flexiblity" take on a mantra quality here. For good reason. Each week a new set of volunteers shows up eager to slap up housing. They soon find there is a good bit of standing around waiting and/or wondering what will happen next. That can be trying. Having to wait to do something because tools or materials or tutoring is not immediately at hand stands as the single most painful privation amongst us, especially we newbies whose urge to accomplish much exceeds the established pace.

What lessons there are here in New Orleans and environs.
What a perfect place to learn them ... especially if you like red beans and rice.
Thank you Jesus.
(And God bless you Beth Shields.)
More to come.

1 comment:

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