Day Four started 15 minutes earlier since our FPC team had to prepare breakfast consisting of pancakes and sausage.Just the right food for physical work, don’t you agree?
We had again a few minutes time to walk around the block before we started our workday and were greeted very friendly by most of the neighbors.
The “indoor” crew finished the window part of the project which is now completed (scraped, sanded, primed and painted) and they really look like new.
The “outdoor” crew prepared for putting up the siding, pulling old boards out, repairing boards that are still usable (remember, we are on a budget), and putting insulation up. Luckily Doug and I have no problems with working on scaffolding 15 ft up in the air.
We went for lunch to “Reconcile”, a restaurant that has helped out school youth to develop their skills and build confidence necessary to get and keep jobs in the local hospitality industry. Reconcile’s students face serious challenges, ranging from extreme poverty to homelessness, violence and run ins with the juvenile justice system. The Café opened its doors in 2000 and has helped 600 young people to claim a better live for them and their families. Now that is impressive if you ask me. In addition their food tasted magnificent.
Leveling the starter strip for the rest of the siding
After lunch we continued with the prepwork for siding. At one point Phil, our site manager, looked at me and said, well before we put in the first siding board, we have to put up a “starter strip” (??). Knowing the various meanings of the word “Strip” I had obviously a different “scarier” version in mind as I looked at him in wonderment, until he explained that we have to nail a small board down first to support the exact leveled angle of the lowest siding board. I hid my relief well.
The afternoon became neighborhood evening and we got to meet with Ora Thomas, the owner of our house. Ora lived on 4th street for more than 40 years and is looking forward to move from her one bedroom apartment back to the Garden District.
She told us many times how precious we are and thanked us for what we are doing. She did not know how precious she became for us by giving us the opportunity to help her. In her humble way of saying thank you, Ora sang two gospels as part of our evening reflection. Meeting her makes for all of us this mission trip even more valuable.
Tomorrow will be outside work for the entire crew and we will set up a “line” for siding (cutting, painting, pressure nailing). We can’t believe that it will also be our last working day in New Orleans. We will miss seeing our project’s further progress and the move-in-party for Ora. But we will hand the project over to the next Project Homecoming team in the confident knowledge that they will build on what we have achieved.