Archive for November, 2009

Trip to New Orleans

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

I’m not sure if its the large number of problems around the world, or Americans’ tendency to forget things right after it happened…but I’m guessing most people don’t realize how much work is left to be done on the Gulf Coast from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. My mom has gone down many times to help and recently returned and wrote up the following report on her experience. As always I thought it was very interesting and it made me sad that I’ve never been able to go.

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Last week I joined a group of 10 people from Grace Church Brooklyn Heights and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on a Hurricane Katrina reconstruction trip to New Orleans. This was Grace‚Äôs 10th mission trip to the Gulf Coast and my third. It says something about the state of affairs in New Orleans that someone would want an old lady up on a ladder sanding their ceilings. But if you check out the first picture that’s what you will see. I spent the entire week sanding and mudding dry wall. Not the most exciting experience but eventually I came to see it as an art. We had to wear masks to protect us from the dust that was everywhere. By the next day I was wearing goggles as well. We were working on a house in the Seventh Ward. For most of the week, the neighborhood was completely deserted. As best we could tell only two houses on the block were occupied. Many of them are boarded up or the roof has caved in; in some circumstances they are now covered with vegetation. If you look at the next picture, you can see our entire group and the front of the house. Check out the hole in the gable. That is where the owner broke through and escaped to the roof where he was rescued by a boat–meaning the water was up almost that high. Mr. Hammond (he is the black man in the second picture) who owned the house we were working on was incredibly grateful for our help. He has been living in a FEMA trailer for almost four years. He was actually written up in the New York Times. You can read his story here http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/us/08trailer.html?_r=1. Most of those people were in our group but there are three people there who had flown in from Hawaii to work for a week.

We were very lucky that the weather was perfect while we were there. It was in the low 70′s, which was good working weather. We ate our lunch everyday by sitting in the concrete front yard–3d picture–where we soaked up the sun and complained about the sanding. We worked from 8 am to 3:30 each day. We actually quit about 3 and cleaned up all the supplies–see 4th picture. Everything–all the tools, supplies–etc. had to be loaded on a truck everyday and taken back to the warehouse because they were afraid of theft.

One funny story. One day a large truck came down the block and appeared to drive off the curb, where it sat half turned over. Later in the day a big forklift came and we all got a charge out of the fact that the driver did a terrible job because in trying to right it, he turned it all the way over on its side. Then they came back and took an old washing machine and propped it up. The next day another truck came and dropped two half-demolished cars onto the block. The next day there were old refrigerators and other appliances thrown in a yard. And then they came and sprayed mud all over them. It turned out that a new HBO pilot was being made called Treme about NOLA after Katrina. They were recreating the days after Katrina when we were doing our best to clean it up!
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Wet Weekend

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

In an effort to tire out our youngest member of the family (Kuja), we decided to take a short hike out at Tiger Mountain. Mist turned to rain, and it ended up being quite the wet walk. But thanks to gortex we all had a great morning. Even The Bine didn’t mind a little wet weather.

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Hot and steamy photo shoot

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Sabine just loves bath time … and so does mom and dad. We had some fun taking pictures, enjoy!

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We’re really in trouble now…

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Kuja’s first hike

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

On Sunday we took Kuja on her first hike. She’s come a long way in the last two weeks. When we first got her she was too scared to go more than a block or two….but on Sunday we were out for 2.5 hours! We kept her on the leash for a bit, and then once we were away from the crowds we let her run. She was so excited and I don’t think she had a clue how tired she was going to be at the end. When we got home, she crawled into her crate and only came out once to get dinner (and slowly for that too!) If only we could do that every day with her!
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Halloween 2009

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Well it was Sabine’ first Halloween. She decided to go as a Frog! We hung out with The Ludders/Hunters family up on Capitol Hill. There are a couple of blocks on 17th that go all out. Lots of decorations, people dressed up in the yards, dry ice, etc. Here are a few pictures, check out the link to the album for all of them.

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Link to more pictures