Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 4: Get Muddy With It

Day 4: Digging on Digging on Digging

Quotes of today
"It was passive aggressive. AND I LIKED IT."
- Mollie Gleason

"As long as people are coming back and willing to come together, that's community."
- Kayla Fuller

Hello again from New Orleans!

Today was another construction day, but unlike yesterday we split into two different groups.

The first group stayed at our original site and continued work on those houses. Today's duties included finishing siding, continuing to soffit, working on porches and steps, and painting. It proved to be at times rather trying (boards hurt when they fall on you), but overall the day was very productive. And muddy. (Such is life when it rains and then doesn't evaporate. Alas.)

The other group went about two blocks over to the site of a new Habitat home which is literally at its inception stages. Workers there got to get the grounds set for foundation creation. Groups dug trenches for concrete, build rebarb frames and footer frames, and got to experience manual labor at its Habitat finest.

The more time we spend in this city, though, the more indepth our conversations get about community.

Each night, we end our day with a debriefing discussion. (We get homework. Blah.) Today's discussion talked about how much pride there is in this city and what makes that so dramatically different from other places.

Think about it: New Orleans is built on a swamp, below sea level. It has so much going against it. Yet there is so much of the city that has remained unchanged for so long. (Jesse told us about a local pharmacy where, despite being an independent business, he has to get special permission from the City of New Orleans to make any amends to the exterior. There is that much pride in the city.) And there are people everywhere who came back.

What is a community? It's a difficult question. But where we are, we can see what community means to the people of New Orleans. It's an identity. It's a home. It's where you come from and where you're going. And it's reliant on every member to make it work.

And for this week, we get to be a part of this community.

Shameless plug for the community service office, but if you ever want a chance to be a part of a unique community, come on a Habitat trip. This one is different for many reasons, but even in South Carolina (where we go on fall break and spring break trips), we get to experience a community like nothing else you get to experience on campus.

The community we build. And the community we're guests in. Both are equally powerful.

Also, tonight RoCo had dinner detail. It went off without a hitch. (Surprisingly.)

Pictures are still being taken. Unfortunately our WiFi isn't always as glamorous as we'd like it to be. So we may have to wait until we get back to campus. BUT BE ASSURED. New Orleans is beautiful for many reasons.

Oh, and we kick butt.

So until something actually physically kicks our butt (or face),
Mollie Gleason and Andrew Dittmar
RoCo Serve staff
Special guest contributors: Julia Boudrye and Kadie Duggan


PS Mollie broke a saw blade. It smoked. And then she kept using it.... <3 Andrew

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