Friday, March 27, 2009

New Orleans: Our busy Thursday!

Today we planned a full work day of returning to Miss Gertrude's house. We left about 7:45ish today but not before eating some of Wendy's cooking! She made breakfast for us today consisting of eggs, bacon, and biscuits! When we got to Miss Gertrude's house, she was looking fancy for her doctor's appointment. Before she left, we gave her a stack of about 10,000 paint samples (haha not really but it was a big stack;she had quite the variety!) to choose from for the walls of the 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, kitchen, and living room. She left to her appointment with the many paint samples to look through while waiting :) Our main goal today for the house was to prime the front room, touch up priming for the back room and kitchen, and finish texturing (giving the wall something other than a smooth plain feeling) the large dining room. Three of our group focused first on the texturing and finished that up- were hoping for it to dry fast so that we could even maybe prime that today, but due to the humidity down here, it didn't allow us to prime this today. We will do this tomorrow. The rest of the group (6) all worked in the front living room priming all the walls and ceiling. When we finished this, we went to the back room and kitchen and touched up on some spots. That second layer really made the walls look clean and nice and really brightened up the rooms, seeing as the only light we have comes from her windows (she has gone without electricity since the hurricane-4 years). After this, we went to apply a second coat of primer to the front room but again, the humidity did not allow the walls to dry that fast. The day went by really fast because after hearing what part of the group told us all last night about how Miss Gertrude showed them where she had her daycare business (which is not in business now) and had a hard time talking about how this affected her life, we all got an even great boost of motivation to get this job done for her because she has seen numerous volunteer groups come in for years and still, the progress is only at texturing the walls... it is sad, really. That is why today we went in really focused, knowing our duties, and having a better feel as to what she experienced and has had to go through these last 4 years. When she returned from her doctor's appointment at about 4 (a typical day for us is working at her house from 8am-4pm), she came with 4 paint samples picked out- antique white for the living room, light blue for the bathrooms, light green for the the bedrooms, and light yellow for the kitchen. She was so thankful that we had got this much done for her and that her house was finally getting some color in there! We left shortly after, telling her we'd see her tomorrow same time. We then went to buy the paint so that it was all ready for tomorrow! We are all excited to see how nice that color is going to look and how happy it is going to make her. Tomorrow is our last day of working at her house so we are going to be efficient but it would be great to see all the coats of primer and paint done so we could see the final result :) After this, the next volunteer group that comes in will probably be helping to install her new flooring, in which after, she will be able to move back in all of her belongings that she is keeping in storage (and has been for 4 years!)! Can't wait to see tomorrow's result even though it will be sad departing from Miss Gertrude who has given us a better idea of how Katrina affected just not the homes of residents, but also jobs, families, and overall, daily lives.

No comments: