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March 3, 2009

A few of us stayed up to play card games and talk in the dining hall last night and 6:00 a.m. came early indeed. We were very grateful for the sausage, eggs, grits and coffee that was served for breakfast and were fortunately able to work well with the other volunteers this morning that came in late last night.

There were two Habitat sites for ONU Habiteers to work on today. My group worked with coordinators Austin, Joseph and Tom. We’re working on a house that was started by about 150 volunteers from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia last week. Today’s work consisted of assembling both exterior and interior walls. To keep things fun, Austin and Joseph labeled the exterior walls with names of various super heroes while the interior walls were labeled with names of various celebrity doctors. My roommate Alex and I were working on the interior walls and hadn’t heard of some of the doctors and eventually wound up in a doctor-naming competition of sorts with Joseph. Joseph had used names like Dr. Holiday and Dr. Strangelove. We came up with Dr. Quinn (of the TV show, “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”), Dr. Suess and Dr. Pepper. I also got to use a large saw whose name I can’t quite recall. That was definitely a bit nerve wracking, but the goal of the trip, “ten fingers down, ten fingers back,” was met.

By the time we left at around 3:45 p.m., we had put up most of the exterior walls and started work on quite a few of the exterior walls. We all learned a lot about different techniques for assembling walls, sawing, leveling and bracing. When we returned to camp, everyone broke off to utilize their free time. Some chose to hit the beach, which is less than a mile away, while others slept, read or went to the grocery store for snacks. Dinner was red beans, rice and sausage with salad and rolls. It’s now free time again until our group huddle at 8:30 p.m., though some members have chosen to attend the camp’s weekly showing of an informational video about the buildup of Hurricane Katrina and its effect on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After today’s work, we will definitely sleep well tonight and be ready for another productive day tomorrow.

  Start of house

 

 

What's left of one of the bridges in Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina

Broken Bridge