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• Every morning we
would wake up around 7:30 so that we could get ready, eat breakfast, and pack our
lunches to board the bus between 8:00 and 8:30.
• After leaving Gretna United Methodist Church, we crossed the great Mississippi
River on the way to our worksites each day.
• We were usually split into two or three different sites for work each day.
• Tools, lunches, water, first aid kits, and personal must-haves were unloaded at
• The three professors would enter with the homeowners so they could learn what
needed to be done and relay the information to the work groups.
• Personal belongings such as furniture, appliances, clothes, and everything else
you have in your home, needed to be removed from the houses.
• When all of these items were out of the house we began removing carpet, linoleum,
ceiling fans and lights, cabinets, and things like sinks, toilets, and bathtubs
which require plumbing (Steve's specialty).
• Once all this work had been done we were able to begin removing molding around
doors, baseboards, and crown molding, followed by any paneling from walls and pulling
down the drywall. The nails holding these up also had to be removed so the studs
are ready for the rebuilding process.
• After removing walls we moved to ceilings. When we began the two weeks we were
trying to pull the drywall down from underneath but by the second week we realized
that it was often easier to have someone in the attic push it down, followed by
nail removal from underneath.
• As we removed drywall we made thousands of wheel barrow trips out of the house
with the debris. We spent countless hours sweeping and shoveling debris into wheel
barrows so the homes would be as clean as possible for contractors to begin work
• When we had finished the homes we cleaned up our supplies and loaded them on the
bus, often spending a great amount of time taking pictures, exchanging contact information
with homeowners, and bidding them a tearful farewell.
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A Day In The