Tuesday, March 22, 2016

NOLA Day 4

Today was our second day working with United Saints. Ariya, Anthony, Jordan and I (Abby), went to Bruce's house again to work on the roof. Ariya and I started off working on finishing the porch roof. We used a nail gun to nail panels of plywood to the roof and actually finished covering the porch today. It felt really good to get that project done. After lunch I went up onto the main roof and worked with Anthony and Jordan to remove nails and shingles from the wood of the roof. The whole surface of the roof was covered with rusty nails and holes, but we managed to finish the job pretty well. It was scary being up that high at first, but we got used to it and got some good work done.

I started today more confident in my skills then yesterday, and by the end of the day I was even more sure of myself. Ariya and I have gotten very good at measuring and using a nail gun. We're all  also much more comfortable on a roof, and getting up and down the ladder then we were. Bruce's house looked very different by the end of the day and I'm really glad I went back to see the project through. I did get super sunburned, so I'll need to be more careful with sunscreen tomorrow, but the day was really rewarding. I wish I could stay and see this house through completion, because I feel very attached to Bruce and the house at this point. All in all, it was a really good day, and I'm really glad I got up on the roof yesterday.


Today was a really good day. My group went to Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). It is a no-kill animal shelter that was started after hurricane Katrina. They rescue cats and dogs from all over the city. Our jobs included cleaning all of the cat "condos" and cages. It was a blast because the staff encouraged all of us to play and cuddle with the cats while we were cleaning. The people who weren't helping out with the cats were walking dogs and cleaning their kennels. Helping out at ARNO made me realize that it takes a lot of time and effort to put the pieces back together after a disaster. I hadn't really thought about all of the stray cats and dogs that were a result of Katrina until today. This experience has inspired me to adopt a pet because there are so many animals that need a home.

Our reflection time today was insightful and empowering. This trip has exceeded my expectations because the group dynamic is really strong. We have great discussions and the vibe is energetic and fun. I feel comfortable around everyone and this matters when discussion serious topics such as race, poverty, politics, etc. I feel heard and inspired by everyone on this trip and for that reason alone I am so happy I decided to go on this trip. I can't wait for the days to come.


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