Sole Sisters and the faces of the NOLA Mission Trip

So yesterday, as I was idly watching everyone get ready, I said, randomly, “Claudia, you are losing your sole”. She turned to  look at me and, as she believed I was commenting on her “soul”, she asked a little confusedly, “what?”  I repeated, “Claudia, you are losing your sole”. Again she said “what?”  I explained with a sigh.  Her sneakers were delaminating their soles from the shoe.  Get it?  So we did what any good construction crew would do, we used duct tape to attach them firmly to her feet! Then we ceremonially put them in the trash this afternoon and left them to the  waste of New Orleans!… [Read More]

Passing the Baton

It hardly seems possible that we have finished our stint of work at the Hope St. site, but here we are at the end of our last work day.  Our Ohio/Michigan/Wisconson folks are gone.  The RI contingent is all that is left and here we sit in an Internet cafe downloading photos and writing down some last thoughts for you, our faithful readers.  Tomorrow morning we will get up bright and early and do the remaining laundry before boarding a plane to come home.

One of the hardest things with a trip like this is to leave “our” project unfinished. … [Read More]

Hump Day…

You know, that day when all of a sudden you realize that it’s closer to the end than the beginning of the experience.  Today was our third day at the Hope St house, and we started to see some closure to some of the projects we’ve been working on.  Most of the doors have all their little coats (of paint) and are rehung in their places.  The taping and retaping in the bathroom is finally done, shelves hung and looking GOOOOD. The door trim starting to look more finished, almost all the way around the house caulking the soffits.… [Read More]

More pictures.. Day 2 progress…

A few pics from today.  We are making progress on our projects.  The  door is in, interior doors are being painted, soffits sealed up, and time for a good conversation with d’hvante… followed by a wonderful dinner in the warm sunshine at the end of the day…  off to bed soon…  After another Aleve! 😉


Pictures from Day 1… Busy and tiring, but productive!


Just to give you an idea…  This is the door frame of the Hope house we are working on, with the water line of the Katrina flood clearly visible…  About 4 feet of water was in the house.  On the right Janet and Dick weaver are working on the details before the bathroom can be finished.

By the end of the stay, the house had a new side door!  And  of course, Claudia’s keeping an eye on us!


Hope on Hope Street

Not far from Beecher Church we arrived bright and early this Monday morning to begin work on an almost finished house here in New Orleans on Hope St.  We were greeted by a feral chicken (yes, you read that right!) at the house site in a residental neighborhood.  The chicken works for peanuts–no kidding!  It LOVES peanuts and will eat them from your hand.   It also has taken up residence UNDER the house we are working on…

We are very happy with YRNO, the agency with which we are working this year. … [Read More]

Communion Sunday

Today we finally realized a dream.  We worshiped with the good folks of Beecher Memorial UCC this morning.  From the moment we stepped into the front entry to our worship in the sanctuary to our conversations with members of Beecher at coffee hour I felt that I was “home.”  For many of us there was hardly a square inch of that building and the back yard that we weren’t familiar with …we know what lies under the pristine newly painted drywall, what lies above the dropped ceilings, what is in every nook and cranny of that church.  … [Read More]

The REAL Beecher Memorial Church in New Orleans

All these years, we have been visiting Beecher, doing insulation, hanging drywall, running wire, making and installing gutters, cleaning out debris (and fighting off fire ants by thebzillions in the yard, fixing doors and windows, a refurbishing grates, painting doors and trim, and all manner of other “stuff”.  touring that time, we read countless messages written by mission groups on the exposed wood beams and joists, contemplated what it would be like when it was finished, pondered and worried if we ever would be back to normal, or what counts for normal post Katrina…  We saw only a couple of Beecher members during that time, and had no real sense of what they were like..… [Read More]

The banana miscount

I don’t know how it happened, but I am one banana short for breakfast on Saturday.  Gotta up my game of planning!  Why is it that every morning I wake up and have “just a few more things” to do before the trip? I think by Saturday ill be the best prepared I’ve ever been!

But at the same time, I’m thinking about the trip as a new adventure.  We are staying in a brand new neighborhood, new restaurants, new sleeping quarters, new work place and organizers.  I checked on line last night and there is a very close by ice cream shop! … [Read More]