Hi everybody! PK here (I'm one of the chaperones). We have done as much as a group of 14 people can do in the hours since we left Pittsburgh (getting up at 3am on Sunday). Everybody who know me knows how I hate to fly (plus I'm a coward about the whole thing), so our really bumpy flights didn't do a lot for my nervous system. But we survived - the important thing! We tried to cover all of New Orleans in a few hours - and I think we did a pretty good job! Some of the students danced at Mulatte's for me since I'm still not really up to Cajun dance! We then packed everyone in the van (barely, by the way) and headed to the Habitat camp where the students are staying. It's a very interesting place; it has been created from an old sewing factory, so they warned everyone about the possibility of finding big, scary needles on the floor or in unshod feet. I don't think anyone is going barefoot. Also, from the various ceilings a wide variety of T-shirts is hung - one from everyone who has visited. Fortunately, one of the students brought a Point Park t-shirt, so we'll be able to leave our 'mark' as well. There are probably hundreds of T-shirts hanging, and, as another blogger noted, drawings and signatures of all of the people who have come. It's gratifying and humbling to discover how many people have been willing to come and help rebuild. There are other colleges here - most visibly a large contingent from Ohio Northern University, but there are also church groups and individuals who have just come to help.
Today we really worked hard all day either taking walls apart that were no longer usable or building walls. The house we are working on had three walls up when we left!!! At some point this afternoon, my muscles mutinied and said, "ok, you think you want to raise that hammer, but we've decided we've had enough." My only comfort was that the students were pretty much in the same condition as I was! I suspect I won't be the only sore one tomorrow! I had planned on playing the 'age' card (and whining a bit or whatever was necessary) but one of our team members is 69, so I've had to behave (well, as much as I'm capable of). The truth is there are no slackers on our team; everyone works hard and steadily. We ended the day a good bit ahead of where our (really nice) site leader thought we would be.
The students are wonderful, by the way -- everyone has been unbelievably kind and cooperative in spite of the fatigue and cramped quarters. I am so proud to be with them.
I'm off to bed, but I'll try to add more tomorrow.
good night everyone!