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Blog for Thursday

May 14, 2010

This Is Why We Volunteer

Wow, what an amazing day! The house we've been working on is an opportunity house, which means it doesn't have a homeowner. I think the idea of building houses for those who didn't have one before the storm is a great idea. Still, I was a little disappointed to here about all of the other groups getting lunches like jambalaya and gumbo from their homeowners and hearing amazing stories from five years ago and beyond. Yesterday made up for our lack of a homeowner completely! We got to witness the welcoming home of a homeowner! This week is Americorps Week so it was a huge deal. We were surrounded by Americorps workers, other volunteers, and, of course, the homeowner, Amelia. It was awesome to see the look on her face when she cut the yellow ribbon that symbolized her entrance into a new home and new life. I am more than willing to admit that I cried like crazy when she thanked everyone for helping out. Not only was it incredibly joyful to see someone get their home back, but also to see a huge group of volunteers with bruises, scratches, bug bites, and the biggest smiles I have ever seen…it was so uplifting. This was definitely the highlight of my week.

Back To Work
Yesterday was a pretty relaxed day of work. We had to clean around the house because there was paint everywhere! We played our part as Cinderella for a day, scrubbing away paint and washing the floors. We really got to know our team leaders, Julia and Steve, yesterday. We swapped funny stories and talked about our favorite movies. Julia and Steve have been so great to us. They never got angry when we messed up or needed a break and really emphasized the "fun" part of volunteering. Needless to say, it was fun!

Rock and Bowl!
And as if the day wasn't enough fun already, we spent the night shopping in the French Quarter and bowling/dancing at Rock and Bowl. I've never been to a place that had both. It was perfect! Scott and Mike were awesome at bowling, but the girls definitely had their moments. After bowling, we got on the dance floor and busted some Southern moves. We might have been the youngest people on the dance floor, but it did not show. People were dancing the night away! Linh found the cutest little boy ever and let him dance and bowl with us. He was quite the dancer. And Danielle got to dance with an older fellow named Jimmy. The hospitality and liveliness of New Orleans have made this trip so much fun! I am definitely coming back!

Who dat!

~Emily Byron


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