Archive for July, 2006

White Beaches & Crystal Clear Waters

Lora_Said

Mike and I are headed to the beach tomorrow! I know, I know, we’re not on vacation–but everyone else is! There have been no teams here all week. So our cook, Pam, hasn’t been in, either. Phil, our roommate, went home to Iowa for 10 days, and Stacy, the other girl who works here is in Houston! So we decided we’re taking off, too! I’ve always wanted to see the Gulf of Mexico… so… tomorrow’s the day! Teams start arriving late Saturday, and as a policy, they’re on their own on Sundays (so the staff gets a break!) so we won’t be needed here. Don’t be too envious, though, come Monday morning, we’ll be back to house gutting as usual.

But tomorrow… I’ll be in Florida, working on my tan! 😉 Here’s to hoping we find a cheap hotel!!

2 comments July 8th, 2006

Clear Skies at Last

Lora_Said

It finally stopped raining today! Blue skies! Now tent city looks less like a tent in the middle of a lake, and more like a tent with a moat around it. 😉

The other tent that collapsed has been torn down and cleaned up, best we can. Everything else that was moved around and dirtied by the storm has been set back to normal and cleaned up. So the rest of the week should be pretty laid back, since no teams arrive until Sunday. Last night, Mike and I were on our way to the French Quarter to celebrate our lack of things to do when it started to rain, AGAIN! So we decided against the French Quarter and settled for a Mexican place not far from our apartment. The waitress brought me out a veggie fajita instead of the portabella mushroom one I ordered, and she felt so bad that we each got a free desert! (I really didn’t mind waiting the extra 6 minutes for the new one!)

In totally unrelated news, here is a bumper sticker I’ve seen around town that I like: New Orleans: Proud to Swim Home

Add comment July 6th, 2006

Independence Day

Mike_Said

What a day. Our outreach went really well! We think we ended up serving close to 70 people or so in the neighborhood and surrounding areas. I was in front of the grill the entire time, cookin’ up burgers and hot dogs for the folks. I enjoyed it. I hadn’t slept well the night before so my social battery was low. Lora on the other hand was all around socializing and talking with people. She was a rock star (that means she did awesome)!

Speaking of rock stars, we could NOT have gotten any of what happened yesterday done without the incredible help of some volunteers we met from the Kenner Vineyard young adult service (and of course, the mercy response cook, Pam). Ohh man, they were so helpful. They showed up, worked hard, and were just a gigantic blessing all day long. Very cool people. I think Lora and I would have been at each others throats for sure if not for these selfless souls. It was nice to get to know them, and hopefully a few friendships will form…

The people responded really well and were very thankful. There were several guys there who were from central or south america and couldn’t speak english- hopefully we left a good impression with them. And I think we did, despite the language barrier. There’s something about food that brings people together.

I also need to give a big shout out to God for the weather. The ENTIRE city was raining- cloud cover as far as the eye could see- except for two holes of sunshine, which, as it happend, floated right over our little ministry field one after the other. And it took just about the 3 hours we were operating to pass by! It literaly couldn’t have been planned better. The clouds provided shade, and it only sprinkled a little here and there which was refreshing instead of bothersome. Not 5 mins after we got back to the church did it start torrential downpouring. Harsh downpouring man. Amazing timing.

We had been invited to a few block parties that night- but instead decided to celebrate by taking showers and putting on our pjs (we were pooped). We went outside our apartment to look in the sky for fireworks and there were plenty of locals going crazy. Then a few minutes later we saw the main fireworks show from the lake start. We had a perfect view from our driveway. And as luck would have it, this is the south. So we, in our pjs, stood outside next to the other neighborhood folks also dressed (or not dressed, depending on your point of view) in their undies watching the show. Surreal, but fun.

I will say one thing- Columbus knows how to put on a fireworks show. Not so much here in the Big Easy (at least this year). I don’t know who was manning the show, but I’m pretty sure crack was involved. Everything was nice and normal, ooh and aah, and then boom- the finale! Yay! Except, wait… there were more fireworks. Ohh okay, nice fakeout. Except… no. They just stopped after awhile. It was as anticlimactic as it could get. Lora was a trooper though. She held on- “No, no the finale is coming!” 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes. Finally, okay, she agreed it was over, that they were done. It was like someone hit the finale button too early or something. Weird. In the end though we were just glad to see some, and the other locals agreed on the weirdness, so thats redeeming. I mean, its pretty incredible they even had any to begin with, all things considered.

And so, in summary: we had a busy day, a interesting evening, and a good night. But I am ready for some R&R. We’ll see what the rest of the week holds…

Hope everyone else had an awesome 4th!!!!!

2 comments July 5th, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Lora_Said

What a mess. Rain, everywhere. Ever since we’ve been here, we’ve barely had any rain. In fact, the locals tell us this time of year they usually get one rain shower every afternoon. But this year they’re having a drought. Well, yesterday it started raining hard right after church, and didn’t stop until the sun went down. Today it started raining around nine am, and just stopped a bit ago.

The bad news is that it’s supposed to rain like this for the next few days, and our 4th of July cookout is tomorrow at 11AM!! Pam (the Mercy Response cook) and I went shopping for all the food this morning at Sam’s. Then I spent several hours making ten pounds of pasta salad! (We actually cooked 20 lbs, but I had to freeze half of it!)

We have a big white tent/tarp outside the church and all of our grills, coolers and water sit underneath it. Well, it got too much water in it yesterday and it collapsed–bending one of the metal poles in half, piercing through the table underneath it, and breaking up some of the concrete sidewalk!! Now you can’t get into the church from the Mercy Response camp without some serious gymnastics. 😉 Maybe after we’re done with all of this July 4th stuff, we’ll have time to mess with it and figure out what to do.

In any event, I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow. If it does, we’re going to have to put all the food in individual “to go” boxes and pass it out door to door! I guess worse things have happened…

1 comment July 3rd, 2006

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