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Houma Day 2: Working on a Triple Wide

What More Could We Ever Want ?

Another good day in the trenches, while the sun demanded a lot of our sweat and we happily drove back to camp.
Even with the oil spill this close, it’s virtually in our backyard, our projects are still concerned with fixing homes that were totaled by Katrina almost five years ago.

Our PDA works in conjunction with the United Methodist disaster response (UMdr), which is now focusing on the parishes around new Orleans. So far, more than 71,000 volunteers worked at 12,000 project sites and logged in working hours representing more than $50 million (based on 20 usd per hour).

Today we met Alice, the daughter-in-law of the owner of the house I am assigned to. Her husband Albert came by in the afternoon and thanked us for our help. His mom of 92 is currently living with Albert and Alice and they are all looking forward to moving in to her home this coming July.

By the way: the home is based on a structure of three mobile homes and the floodwater line after Katrina had gone through, was above the window sill of the picture.
Albert, Magdalina’s son, is a truck driver and in talking with him he showed much concern about the 6 month drilling moratorium as a result of the oil spill. He drives goods to the loading docks of the supply ships going to the riggs and does not know how his future is going to look like. It’s literally the choice between a rock and a hard plate.

The work today was a continuation of mudding, sanding and wiring and we were very confident that we would be able to spray the walls in the afternoon…….but then Jim, the manager of the UMdr came by for a little insection, made a walk through and told us we had some more work to do today, before we can spray. A small disappointment that quickly disappeared after he showed us what to do and gave us many helpful hints.
So I guess with fixing a house it is like with religion – sometimes you are not ready yet and need some guidance to get there.
This evening Gene and his kitchen crew are preparing Gene’s famous creole sauce and it is remarkable how important the sharing of food becomes in this routine. After dinner clean up and some time for reflection. Early to bed. Will meet with Magdalina the owner of the house we work on tomorrow. Looking forward to another fulfilled day.

Helmut Albrecht.

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