Day 6: Monday, August 3, 2009 -- Work Day 1
Jamal N. -- Rob assigned Groups to us and I was assigned to Group 3, The Plaster and Sheetrock Group, with Charlie F. and my grandma as group leaders. First we sanded the plaster that was there already. Then we plastered where we sanded way too much. We went back to Camp Restore, ate lunch, then returned to the house and sanded until 3:30 and came back to Camp Restore for showers and dinner.
Scott C. --
Location: 9th Ward, New Orleans, Mrs. Cloud's house. Mrs. Cloud is a very friendly, elderly African American lady.
Job: Our initial task was to lay down laminate hard wood flooring. With the large amount of people we came up with other jobs which include cleaning a bathroom; caulking around the sink; filling in nail holes with caulk; cleaning doors and windows; measuring, cutting and laying down the flooring. Some of the materials were not there for us when we got there and the place was also a mess. Those two issues were our first priority for the work day. However, over all, it was a good work day. With an abundance of workers we were able to not only complete our initial task but also to accomplish a lot of general cleaning. However, we were told we would be reassigned to a different worksite the next day.
Leona D. --
Our group was at the Sebastopol Plantation in Saint Bernard Parish. Camp Restore's mission is not just to rebuild homes and the lives of individuals in New Orleans but also to rebuild the community itself. It does this through a number of different non-construction work sites like the one our group was at today. Sebastopol Plantation is an historic plantation home that was damaged (i.e. had about three feet of water in the house for two months) by the storms. Although much of the work to restore the inside has been done, the grounds around the planation, including a paupers graveyard--the only place people of color were, historically, allowed to bury their dead--are in disrepair. We had three teams working on the grounds surrounding the plantation. The first group was digging up and replanting irises that had overgrown their bounds. The second group was continuing work on a rebuilt chicken coop for the abundant chicken population (including a few peacocks). The third group worked to clean up along the borders of the property by clearing brush, debris, and mangled chain link fence that had been swept against a board fence by the floodwaters. We worked hard, in the sun, with the chickens, and the Californian group from Camp Restore that was working with us, put on enough sunscreen that we didn't get sunburned, drank the entirety of our 5 gallon water cooler so we didn't get dehydrated, got scratched by thorns, bitten by fire ants (just itchy, not deadly), generally laughed and had a good time, cleared about 500 feet of fence, finished putting up chicken wire around the coop, moved all the irises and ended the day with a lovely tour of the plantation home by Ms. Alberta the current owner. Ms. Alberta was very appreciative of our efforts as she, in conjunction with the parish government, is trying to get the plantation restored for more public tours and use by the community.