Past Trips

Finishing Up

Written April 24th, 2015

Zulu CoconutOur homeowner, Miss Bernadine, likes to sit in her yard and watch the volunteers work.  She also takes good care of her volunteers.  In addition to getting all our addresses and birthdays (so she can send us birthday cards), she came bearing gifts yesterday. Miss Bernadine is a member of the Zulu Krewe, the largest African American Mardi Gras Krewe.  The Mardi Gras season lasts for several weeks, and different Krewes hold parades on the days leading up to Mardi Gras.  The Zulu Krewe’s parade is the first one to roll on Mardi Gras morning.  Krewes often throw gifts into the crowds during their parade, and the Zulu Krewe is known for throwing decorated coconuts.  Miss Bernadine brought us 3 Zulu coconuts as a gift. Getting a coconut is quite a honor, and we had the added bonus of not having them thrown at us.

Home and Garden HouseThe other fun thing that happened yesterday was that I had the opportunity to visit the site where the project I worked on last year was finally being completed.  Instead of working on a client’s house last year, I worked on an experimental house that was designed to be built from a kit.  The house was  showcased in the Home and Garden show last spring before being built in its final location.  That location was just 10 minutes from our site, and the house is almost finished.  I was able to head over there at lunch and talk to the site supervisors there.  The house is a modified shotgun house, designed specifically for SBP.   It was hard last year for me to visualize what it would look like from the plans we were working from, so I was psyched that I was here to see the house in its final form.

IMG_7920The week has flown by.  We’ve made a lot of progress at the house in the past 4 days.  We  were able to get the interior walls prepped for painting, and got the first coat of pain on in most of the rooms.  Outside we almost finished 2 coats of primer.  We knew that today there was a chance of rain, and at 11:30 this morning it finally arrived.  It rained on and off for most of the afternoon, so any hopes we had of finishing up the last bit of exterior priming were gone. With everyone working inside, we managed to get the tiling started in the kitchen.  We spent more time trying to figure out how the best way to lay them out to make sure they would be straight than we would have liked (as I said earlier, this was a new skill for us) but in the end we did manage to get the first couple of dozen tiles in place.  After spending so much time making sure they were aligned properly, I didn’t want to have to leave without getting at least a few installed.

Even though we did get a lot done, it’s difficult to leave things unfinished.  Each evening, we go around the group and have everyone say what the high and low points of their day was. Today,  for many people, the low was leaving their work unfinished.  One of the things I love about this trip is that even though we are exhausted and dragging at the end of the week, we still wish we had just a few more hours get things done.  The beauty of the process though is that there will be a new group coming in next week to pick up where we left off and keep the project moving forward. Miss Bernadine will be home soon.

Tomorrow is our day off, and we are headed to the bayou to take a swamp tour.

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