Monday, May 29, 2006

Welcome To Camp Coast Care

Welcome 1
Originally uploaded by munsun.

We got in around 7:00 PM local time last night. That was 20 hours on the road. After a shower and an attempt to get online (network was down), I went to bed. I slept through the night, getting up around 5:45 to get dressed and take some pictures around camp.

The St. Matthew's team has been assigned to help Louise Ramsey put her sandwich shop back together. Mrs. Ramsey has a small shop (a doublewide trailer, actually). Before Katrina, she would start each day by delivering her sandwiches to convenience stores and roach coaches all around. Then she'd come back to the shop and, with a few employees, make sandwiches all day. She hasn't sold a sandwich in 8 months.

The storm tore off the back of Mrs. Ramsey's shop, and ripped half the roof off her house. A few teams of volunteers have come through, replacing the roof on the house, rebuilding her bedroom and reattaching the back of the shop. Someone had put up cheap laminated paneling in the back, but there was no way it would pass health inspection, so our job is to put up mold-resistant drywall (green-board).

After trips to a few hardware stores, we had all the supplies we needed, and we got to work by 11:00. Now, this is a small shop, and there are nine of us, so there wasn't really enough work for all of us. Instead of standing around, I helped Louise make sandwiches. She told me about her nephew, who helped her dig out her water tank, and about the health inspector, who didn't wash his thermometer before sticking it in her tuna salad.

By the end of the day, we had all the drywall up. Tomorrow, we'll tape, mud and sand. And there is another job for us, but we'll need the skid loader.

It may seem small, the nine of us helping this one women. But we're helping her reclaim a part of her life that has been missing for eight months. And we're helping a small business woman, who's eventually going to need help making sandwiches, and so she'll be hiring some local kids. We all hope that we're helping to rebuild this community, one sandwich shop at a time.
More pictures of our arrival and Mrs. Ramsey's shop can be found on Flickr.
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