Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pass Christian Day 6

Had a great day yesterday traveling to New Orleans. Students and Verne enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells. Not quite as busy as it was in May, but still quite few people out and about. We got back home around 8:00 p.m. and most of us were in bed by 10.

Today was another beautiful day in the Pass. Little windy and cool, but still able to work in shorts and T-shirts. Ain’t that just a darn shame!!

Got to Cheri’s around 7:30 a.m. and she greeted us as we arrived. Today’s plan was to complete as much of the major wall framing as we could, so I got the students and Verne up and running and spent the next two hours working with Cheri to finalize her floor plan. Interesting enough that here in the Pass, the permit process is pretty laid back compared to Kent or King County. We’re building her house with just a sketch she made on a CAD program and working out details as we go.

I did help her rearrange her walls to give her a more livable space. She really appreciated my background in home building design and layout and she ended up with a floor plan that she really loves. Nice big kitchen, spacious living area and a master bedroom suite and 2nd bedroom. Not bad considering it takes up only 1000 square feet. The orginal house only had 640 SF to begin with. She has been living in such a small space the past two+ years in her FEMA trailers, that she got use to living that way. Now she says she feels like a queen with all the space she has.

Around 11, I called in everyone and asked them what goal they wanted to set for the day. All of them wanted to complete all the major framing, install a large roof supporting beam so we can open up here living room, and be ready for wall sheathing tomorrow. Their goal was to get it all done and then go home. No time limit, just “git ‘er done, then go home” Well by 5:00, they met their goal. The framing looked excellent and the 2nd level, looked completely different. This time they met their own expectations and felt great about what they accomplished.

As we were cleaning up, Cheri, with tears in her eyes said “I can’t believe a group of students from Green River Community College from Washington state, traveled all this way just to help me out”. She then added that she wanted to know how she can contribute scholarship money to help support a student for the rest of the year. Wow, here is a woman just getting back her life and she already wants to give back some of what was given to her. What a wonderful person. I gave her my business card and said to contact me when I get back and I’ll get in touch with the Josh in the Foundation office.

Ended back in camp tired and hungry. Had a great dinner and it was our turn to do the dishes. No complaining from anyone. We all chipped in and were done in no time.

Tonight we plan on having a campfire and taking some time to reflect on our experience here in the Pass. I’m looking forward to hear how the experience has affected everyone. I’m also interested to know how the students plan on taking what they experienced here and how they plan on applying that to the rest of their lives.

Tomorrows out last day. We plan on wrapping up at Cheri’s around 1:00 p.m., then pack up all our gear, return to camp, take showers, pack our bags and catch our plane at 5:00. If all goes well, should be back in Seattle around 11:00 p.m.

I’ll have one more wrap up journal tomorrow. I do look forward to getting home and seeing my wife, Meri. She has been patient with me for being gone all week with my students. Thanks Dear.

I also look forward to talking to as many as you about our experience as well. Thanks to those who supported my students financially as well as spiritually. As a teacher, this is an experience I wish all of you could have. It was and has been a tremendous teaching experience.


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