So I haven't updated in a while, and I figured I'd type a little something for ya. I've been rereading Bayou Farewell, which has gotten me so pumped about finding more out about the environment of New Orleans and well the whole Gulf Coast. I have also done a lot of research about the architecture of New Orleans and how it reflects the area's environment. I'm also in the process of transfering all of that from paper to internet.
So the first days of work were great! I'm currently working on a house located at 1729 Marais Street. It is in pretty bad shape, but we've already made a dent in it. Basically what happened was the homeowner had hired someone to help her redo her home. Something was screwy and he work ended up looking like shit. Well Rebuilding Together has since taken over the site.
On the first day we did some blow out patches in the walls, mudded and sanded the sheetrock, and primed certain areas. We also did simple things like scrape tons of old paint off of the windows or mantle. Rebuilding together does a ton of historical renovation which I think is really cool. It allows you to keep the look and feel of New Orleans, and allows you to recycle old pieces.
On the second day, it was more and more priming and sanding. I worked mostly in the bathroom which was a huge pain. It is such a small space and there were two of us in there. We also had to paint the ceilings, which are higher than I'm used to, as well as being a huge pain to paint with rollers. I also got to lay the tiles in the hearth of the "fireplace" It is no longer working, but it looks great!
I've learned a lot about our neighborhoods, as well as some not so nice things. I will just have to make sure and keep and eye out while I'm working. I'm sure it'll all end up good but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Now the thing on all of our minds right now, Gustav. For now, it's a tropical storm, but don't let that fool ya. It's the topic of conversation on the job site, in the store, on the street, basically everywhere. People are not making the same mistake as they did during Katrina. Noone is saying it'll be no big deal, but rather people are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. The plan now is to simply wait. If a mandatory evacuation is put into effect, I will pack up my backpack and aid in the evacuation process along with Homeland Security. Then, when the storm is a coming, I get on the last train out of here to Memphis, Tennessee. It's good because I know I have a seat on that train, so I'm not too worried about getting out of here. I will stay with members of my team too which is good.
This is a big deal, and I'm not sure I fully understand it yet. I mean, I've had about a million phone calls with people talking about it, I've gone over the plan a million times, but I don't think it's fully hit me yet. It'll start sinking in my head, in a few days when we really see where it is going and what sort of evacuation plan is in effect. Until then, I'll keep my cell phone charged and some water and granola bars ready, and simply stay tuned to the weather channel. The people of this city have been through enough so I hope it doesn't hit, I really do.
This is going to be a trip.