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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 each site.
• 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
• 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
• 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 on them.
• 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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Day In The Life...