We started our trip with a great party- the Grant and Associates 16th Annual Crawfish Boil. They cooked 1200lbs of crawfish. 1200lbs! They were fat, spicy and delicious. On Friday we attended the ordination of our friend Lance Eden. It was a nice evening and we got to meet many of The Rev’s friends and family. It was also a chance to fulfill my need to make and wear a really BIG hat.
Our work projects were to help build 2 wheelchair ramps with our friends from Kaiser Permanente. One ramp was for a community space in the Holy Cross neighborhood and the other one was for Mr. and Mrs. Sims. It was a great reunion of old friends and a chance to make new friends. Kaiser always brings their A Game. Since we only had a few days to get our work done Dave and I had to split up. We love to work together but it was a chance to share our experience with 2 teams.
I worked with 6 KP volunteers on the ramp in the Holy Cross. We had 4 days to complete our ramp. It was a great team and a fun build. The ramp had a 29-inch drop so that meant a 29 ft. ramp with a switch-back. We had a slow start because of generator problems but it gave us a chance to stain the 500 balusters and break concrete out of the ramp’s path. We worked hard and got the job done. The Holy Cross neighborhood is in the Lower 9th. There is only one place to get food- a small corner market that also has hot food. There we found the biggest, cheapest po’boy I’ve seen- a 32 inch shrimp for $11.95.
David worked with a Kaiser team that built the ramp for the Sims.They built a long straight ramp in only 3 days. They fell in love with the Sims family and got that great feeling of helping someone who really appreciates the help. They also built a greenhouse for the Hollygrove community garden.
The whole Kaiser group came together on Friday to work on several projects for Success Preparatory Academy. This was Kaiser Permanente’s 5th trip to help rebuild- both in New Orleans and Mississippi. They always bring a great group of enthusiastic and FUN volunteers. This group was no exception.
check out their web site:
We were happy to see some of our friends we met when we worked with Kaiser in 2008. One of the many wonderful things about volunteering is the friends you make. We have lifetime friends that we have met working to rebuild New Orleans. One of those people is Lana Corll. She is our great friend who always makes us feel very welcome in her home. Not only does she provide us a wonderful place to stay in New Orleans, she lets us use her truck AND she generously hosts parties at her home for our fellow volunteers.
Without the help of volunteers like our friends from Kaiser, many people would not have been able to return to their homes in New Orleans.
Kaiser says ALOHA to New Orleans.