March 6, 2014
6:00am - Wake up call! After much needed rest from our long day of travels yesterday, our NOLA team was up bright and early making breakfast, preparing for our first day of building and construction at the habitat site.
7:15am - Arrived at the habitat site ready to get started on building a house! After getting acquainted with our habitat site supervisors and having a quick safety orientation, we began cleaning-up one of the sites, bringing wet cardboard, scraps of wood, and clearing garbage to the dumpster. Then, while some of us spent the rest of the morning lifting and transporting piles of lumber, the rest of us built the foundation of the house, stacking cinder blocks meticulously on top of layers of mortar.
11:30am - Lunch time! Never before have I been so excited to get into a van for the sake of warmth. Food, heat, and a reenergizing nap was a nice way to break up our day.
12:30pm - Returned to work and continued with our morning tasks on site; however, this time there was more rain and gusts of wind. Although the weather was not ideal, the cold and wet weather did not stop us from continuing our work and having a good time. Team work, good laughs, and spontaneous warm-up sessions throughout the day kept us warm and made the weather conditions all the more bearable.
4:00pm - We were greeted by our high-energy students at the church and began promptly with our planned lesson plans and teaching groups. Through interactive games and fun activities, we cultivated a positive, empowering environment for the students to break out of their comfort zones. Although the students challenged our own energy levels, I think we all accomplished and got through to the students with our teaching goals.
6:30pm - Arrived back at Hands On New Orleans (HONO), the accommodations where we are staying for this week. The dinner crew #2 immediately started cooking our "Grains, Greens and Grill" dinner theme night to feed the rest of our hungry team.
8:00pm - Dinner is served! The menu included kale chips, quinoa salad, sautéed squash, grilled shrimp (on the BBQ!) and pesto pasta. It was such a nice treat to be in the kitchen cooking homemade food again :).
9:30pm - We had our team meeting, reflected on the day's activities, and prepared for our next day of habitat building.
11:00pm - Lights out and bed time! We were all tired from our first day at the habitat site, but we are all looking forward to being back tomorrow and making more progress on the house!