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Oct. 22, 2007
One Step at a Time
I wish I a had a photo of the stairs I constructed today. Why, you ask? Liz and I have been working on the darn things for two days and apparently they were supposed to be 70 inches instead of 64. But that's how it goes when you have no background constructing homes; but we're learning! Lesson learned: measure twice, cut once.

And the glory of it all came when we drilled the final screw into the last stair today. I have to admit, they were quite possibly the prettiest stairs I'd ever seen.

Thirteen of us jumped on a plane last Sunday and shipped off to New Orleans to help in the recovery effort. Two years after Katrina and it's amazing how much work still needs to get done. Communities were devastated and there's still ruins littering the streets and boarded up homes lining the sidewalks. But, those who have returned have an amazing hope to rebuild the community that lived before the storm.

So we're here working with Habitat for Humanity in one of their communities—Musician's Village. The neighborhood's in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans, just across the canal from where the levee broke back in 2005. It's awesome to see so many homes, all of which were built by volunteers. Habitat's constructed 1000+ homes in the gulf area since Katrina. So amazing.

But back to those stairs...

It was a total bummer when I found out that the 24 2x4s I cut were all the wrong size, or that the 12V battery pack was out of juice, but to see just how the residents appreciate us being here and helping restore their lives, the minor hiccups in the construction process dwindle away and the experience becomes priceless (not priceless like a credit card commercial or a corny cliche saying but priceless in a human-to-human empathetic kind of way).

We finished off the stairs by eleven o'clock and celebrated in a photo op with the Supreme Spiritual and Administrative leader of the Armenian Church, His Holiness Karekin II who stopped by the site as part of his recent visit to the U.S..

Tomorrow we'll be installing windows and framing another house; no more stairs though. Next time.
Posted by:
Amy, Miss Web Gal

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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