Friday, we were part of the unloading team. SUMA, or Seashore United Methodist Assembly, is our sponsoring organization, the people who provide us with a place to stay, our meals during the week, and our work assignments. They have a lot of people who volunteer to repair homes, but most of them have no way to get the materials they need, like sheetrock or plywood. We offered to rent a truck and/or pull a trailer, and that was a great help to SUMA. They have teams that come in for a weekend, maybe 3 days, and want to work productively the whole (short) time they are here. So we became the supply crew.
The first thing we did today was to deliver about 20 sheets of plywood to a home. A team from northern Mississippi was coming in Friday through Sunday to work on the home, and needed the materials for this work. We all drove to the home, and unloaded the plywood and a front door. It turns out that we picked up the plywood on Thursday but couldn't deliver it until Friday. This was good luck as the home was not secure as they didn't have a door. Since we provided the door and the plywood to a team that was getting right to work, the supplies would be secure. There is a terrible problem around here with people stealing building supplies, and stealing lots of other things, too. Another homeowner, Hattie, had her air conditioner stolen - while she was sleeping! So we minimized the likelihood of this happening for the "weekend place."
After this, we went back to the place where we delivered the sheetrock on Thursday. We delivered some lumber and the rest of the sheetrock. This also worked out better than we expected, as the homeowner asked us to not deliver the rest of the load on Thursday as he was concerned for our safety as we were tired and it was raining. But Friday was sunny, so he asked for the rest of the load, which we gladly provided. (See the photos in the Image Gallery: http://aarpca2.org/xoops/html/modules/xoopsgallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album01&page=2)
After all of this, we returned to our home base at SUMA. Several of us then proceeded to pick up and deliver 5 windows to Marvin's home. We will return Monday morning to install them.
So we had a busy day being the supply crew. It wasn't building or installing anything, but it was also an important part of the work. You can't hang sheetrock if you don't have it.
Now, it's the weekend. We plan to relax, some will do some fishing, others will leave for home, still others will arrive here for next week, and some of us plan to go to New Orleans to see what it is like there.
Well, we just arrived back from New Orleans. We went to the French Quarter, had lunch, and took a Gray Line tour of the hurricane affected areas. It was quite different from what we have seen in the Biloxi area. In Biloxi, the primary damage was from the storm surge and the high winds. In New Orleans, the people there thought that they had survived the worst of the storm rather nicely, but then the levees broke, and most of the city was flooded. Since it is a densely populated city, there were house after house that suffered water damage. We saw extensive areas that were basically still uninhabited due to the water damage. We also saw large areas where the commercial areas, such as shopping strip malls, were closed. It will be a long time before the city recovers. (See photos in the Image Gallery: http://aarpca2.org/xoops/html/modules/xoopsgallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album01&page=2)
After that down experience, we went back to the French Quarter and had a really nice dinner of local food such as crawfish, crab, shrimp, and gumbo. That will be our good food experience for the weekend, as the SUMA people don't provide food for us on the weekend. They need a few days off, too.
So it's back to work on Monday, with new assignments and new crews, for the most part.