14
Mar
09

NOLA

You KNOW that when I go to New Orleans, I always come back with some sort of meaningful pictures or message. Well, no different this time. I went to my conference a day early to participate in a Habitat for Humanity-style helping project.  I even wore my Extreme Makeover Home Edition T-shirt!

So, there were seven of us (out of 90+ conference attendees) who pledged a day to help brighten someone’s life. We were all assigned to a gentleman’s house that had been pretty ravaged by all the hurricanes hitting NOLA over the last several years. This very, very kind gentleman was a retired cook and was now disabled by a variety of health conditions.

The group that worked on his house the weeks and days before us had a massive clean-up job…jungle-like overgrowth of plants all around the house, major paint peeling on all of the house surfaces, siding that was rotten, etc.  They did an amazing job with the weeds and getting all of the old siding down in the back and stripping/chipping the old paint chips off the house.

Our job was to PRIME the entire house for a new paint job.  A couple of the team were assigned caulk duty…they were basically sealing up every single possible nook and cranny that could be sealed. The rest of us got ladders (what a hoot to see me on a ladder…OMG!) our paint pans and brushes and our 5 gallon drum of OIL-BASED primer.

We worked from 8:30AM until 4:00 PM and only took a break for lunch. I am very proud to say that we got the entire house primed except for the very top most siding at the roof level.  Not only did we get the entire house primed (including the new siding), but we also got the front yard cleaned up as well (broken glass from shattered windows and other miscellaneous crud).

Clean up was interesting for two reasons. One–OIL BASED primer must be cleaned up with mineral spirits, not water….nothing like a mineral spirit high in the late afternoon..YOIKS…not exactly an odor you want to carry with you on public transportation (which we did).  But #2 was the best…one of the volunteer gentlmen who worked on another project for the same group spent some time chatting with us and found out we were all deaf educators…well, lo and behold…he had twin sisters who were deaf…he knew sign language, and his sisters had both won medals for basketball at the Deaf Olympics; then as we were checking our supplies back in with the keeper of the goods, we discovered that she too had a brother who was deaf! Talk about a small world?!?!

So, our hearty little troop of 7 left our volunteer day feeling particularly proud. We accomplished a great deal, met a lovely man who so very much appreciated our help, and connected with our other teammates on a personal level.

And, unlike Extreme Makeover Pittsburgh, the weather was PERFECT!

A few pics of the day…oh, and of my extraordinary professionalism too 🙂

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2 Responses to “NOLA”


  1. March 15, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Looks like fun. What’d you bring me? :p

  2. March 15, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    You’re so awesome! Glad you had a good time. I’ve volunteered my time w/ some not-so-great people and it can be really depressing when that happens.


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