Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Drywall Day...almost

Today, we were supposed to finally get in and do some honest to goodness rebuilding work, continuing a complete renovation of a home in mid-city. I'm thinking, finally, I can hang me some drywall, which I had so much fun doing in Biloxi 2 1/2 years ago...but as it turns out, the groups that had come through before us to start the project actually did a horrible job. I mean, I know they're volunteers, but that's no excuse for doing a piss-poor job of putting up a wall for someone's home. It's their home, for crying out loud. Pieces of ceiling drywall were screwed into...air! Held up only by the perpendicular piece of sheetrock on the wall...seriously? Other places had gaps as wide as an inch that needed to be fixed...we spent the entire morning taping, mudding, taping, and oh, yeah, mudding. Never even took a piece of drywall off the pile for cutting.

Then we got pulled off that for the afternoon to help move some bunkbeds from Camp Hope, the Habitat for Humanity volunteer base site about 40 minutes outside the city. This entailed us following the Ryder truck out to the site, loading about 25 metal bedframes and mattresses, then hauling them back into New Orleans and unloading them into what I guess is the warehouse of a retail business (I'm not sure how that all worked). Anyway, the entire process took over 2 hours of drive time and about 90 minutes of manual labor. I took a nap on the way back. :)

So, no drywall today. But I did spend 30 minutes on the phone with a reporter for the New York Times "student edition" (I think she's legit) tonight, being interviewed about my thoughts on voluntourism. She's going to try to come out to the site tomorrow to see us at work, and I put her in touch with Mack at the 9th ward community center to talk about his fashion show. Hopefully some much needed exposure will help the cause over there.

Tonight was a quiet night, in comparison with the rest of the week. Couple of people got fleur de lis tattoos, and I just got back from Frenchman's Street. The middle schoolers are running amok, taking their showers and trying to avoid getting cooties.

Tomorrow night is Preservation Hall for some jazz, and I'll be giving my team some drywall lessons. :-)


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