Wednesday, December 28, 2005

On The Roof

This morning began at 6:15, way too early for this earliest class at 10:00 college girl. Breakfast was good: grits, eggs, and cinnamon rolls. After breakfast, we had our “Roofing 101” training. Quite a debate ensued about whether or not the shingles were to “butt” up against each other or tuck underneath one another. Finally, an expert (the construction head) was called in and it was decided that the shingles should butt. Then, we went to the ladder station and discussed safety and had the opportunity to go up on practice roof. I did it, and it was a little scary, especially the going-down-off-the-roof part. I survived, though! After loading ladders and boards onto trailers, my group, Work Crew 2, boarded the bus and headed to Biloxi. We passed D’Iberville, the town in which I worked over Fall Break. It made me miss the people I met there and wonder how they are and how their rebuilding efforts are going.

Once we arrived on site, our crew chief assessed the houses that we were assigned and our work crew began unloading the trailers of ladders. As this all was taking place, an adorable 5 year old named Gregory peaked out the door of his house and ordered us to “get to work fixin’ his roof.” Gregory looked on during the day with his Mom telling him to stay inside because he didn’t have shoes on and had a cold. He really brightened the day for me with his smiles and hugs and helped me remember why we’re here.

After the ladders were set up, it was time to go up on the roof. Some people stripped shingles on the roof of one house while the same task was begun on the house next door. Felt was laid after all the shingles were removed. We finished laying the felt on half of one house and about a third of another house. No worries; everyone lived to tell about their first times on the roof. During some of the down time we had, several members of our small group helped another work crew down the street. We cleaned up the drywall debris they had ripped off the walls of the house.

The work day ended about 5:30 and we headed to the high school to shower. This was an interesting experience for the girls who were reprimanded by some Baptist men for using “their” showers. We had private showers, but the boys had communal ones. We hear the situation is being worked on and hopefully tomorrow we’ll all have private showers and no angry Baptists.

Dinner was yummy: ham, rolls, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes. We worshipped and then met with our small groups. I’m now sitting in the dining hall grateful for the wireless internet! I’m worn out but so glad to be here. Being here for the second time gives me a little perspective. I can tell that progress has been made; more stores and businesses are open and all the traffic lights are working. People are beginning to rebuild. All this is encouraging, and yet it is unbelievable how much there is still to do. I’m glad for the time we have and appreciative of all the support from back home. We’ll see you Monday! Thank you for your continued prayers.

Claire Harris
Golf Group - Team 2


At 11:28 PM, Blogger acnecure said...

Hello, Your blog is awesome but I was looking for extension ladders so I guess im on my way searching some more. Thanks for the great info. cool.


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