Today was a day of surprises good and bad. We started the day at 6:30 in the morning waking up and getting ready for who knows what. After we got debriefed on everything that was going on we headed off to a house where we had to finish cleaning up after another group had taken off a bunch of the drywall and gutted the entire house. That only took a few hours. It was so ridiculously hot outside and the way that we had to work was 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. At first we laughed at that idea because it seemed so lazy, but as soon as you go hard for 15 minutes, all you can think about is getting your break. Even Pernell was taking these breaks and if you know Pernell that isn’t normal.
The second house we went to was the first surprise. You can see the algae line all the way around the house about four feet up the wall. There was towels, a wedding dress, suits, all their appliances and tons of other regular household stuff. We completely gutted the entire house. All of their stuff, stuff that we take for granted everyday, was thrown in a heap at the front of their house for the garbage trucks. All I could think about was how much I care about all my stuff sometimes and how in a day all of it could be lost.
We later went to a little party after that the organization we were working for was putting on for some of the workers. Can I just say this party was a perfect example of what a church should look like. There were about 50 people here and they were taking advantage of the open bar. So maybe it was a bit different from what church should look like. But what I loved the most is that all these people, during the entire day, were fixing and gutting houses so people could move back into their homes. They all spent their entire days for other people and not themselves. Then, in a way of celebration and coming together they all came to sing songs, eat food and spend time together. If only churches were full of people who were ending a day/week that wasn’t about themselves. I think that if churches were full of these people, people who were exhausted not by building up wealth for themselves but caring about other people, then a lot of the problems we see in church would disappear.
We then met a girl that worked at the restaurant whose house got flooded. She was so happy and cheery even though now everything she owns is in her car and she lost everything else. People in New Orleans are genuinely happy here. You think they would be upset or angry at something or someone but they weren’t. They accepted the fact that everything happened and lived life as well as they could in spite. It was cool to see people that to our standards live horribly be happier and more nice than people that to our standards live extremely well off.
There was this band of kids on the street playing. They had drums, trumpets, guitar, baritones; it was awesome to see. They were quite young but their music was moving and well played. They even sang sometime and they all had massive smiles on their face. I think it was the way they made a living because they apparently did it every night, but I was quite impressed at how awesome their music was for their age and how they made ends meet in a time of need here.
Overall, today was a great day. It was hard work, and I’m not going to post this till tomorrow because all I want is my pillow and to connect I have to walk down the road, which isn’t worth it.