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New Orleans Mission Trip 2009 - Wednesday, July 15

Dear everybody back home,

Today was a long day. We did a lot of good work today, we continued
paneling the side of the house and insulated the entire interior. It was
really hot but luckily we had a lot of cloud cover because it was supposed
to rain. It didn’t actually rain but it came really close, we heard thunder
rumbling in the distance while we worked.

It was really interesting to see the people that are hosting us while we’re
on this trip. We had dinner with them today and they cooked us a whole ton
of scrum-didly-umptious food. We were all really excited to eat dinner. I sat
next to an elderly woman who told me about the time she spent with her
relatives in Texas during Hurricane Katrina. She evacuated the day of the
evacuation notice and only planned to be gone for 2-3 days. But what was
only supposed to be a short move turned into a 3 week vacation. Her house
was filled with 8 inches of water, destroying the first floor. Out of the hundreds
of thousands of dollars the storm cost her, the only item that she regrets losing
is her photo albums. She said that she can always get more stuff but memories
can’t be replaced.

Overall, today was a really great day. I learned how to insulate housing
and how to use a staple hammer. I even stayed awake the entire way to
the worksite today! Seeing all of the buildings and scenery on the way
there for the first time was really interesting.

Sincerely, Neal Fong


Hi everyone,

It’s been a great experience coming back to New Orleans with this group.
Everyone is drinking lots of water and everyone has been healthy. We were
really thankful for the cloud cover this afternoon. It made the insulation work
much easier.

We were all a bit tired this morning. It is mostly Justin’s fault, as he got us into
an exciting game of Monopoly and we stayed up a bit too late. We had a lot of
fun, though. We came back from the site to find out that someone had put our
game away! (Damond was winning.)

It is interesting to see some of the changes in the New Orleans area since we
were here last year. There does seem to be more of recovery in the last year
and the neighborhoods are starting to come back and be reclaimed. There is
still a lot of abandoned property, but it seems less, and there is construction
going on all over.

The construction manager for Habitat New Orleans for our site is Dan. He is a
native New Orleanian and has been very helpful to us on site. He was a general
contractor before he started working for Habitat and has kept us going well at the
site. Terry, Stasia, Aaron, Karina, Kelly, Chris, and Adam were installing cement
board siding on the outside, Leonard, Damond, Eric, Neal, Mei Mei, Liane, Justin,
and Casey got the inside of the house insulated in preparation for the drywall. It’s
rewarding to see the progress we are making.

We’re very grateful to the folks here at Parkway. Pat Prewitt has been our host
again and they have done so much to make our stay here comfortable.

Well, time to go now. Liane wants us all to go down to Bourbon Street and
get “CH/PCC NOLA 2009” tattoos…

Peace, Scott Barlow

[Thursday, July 16]