Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Crew

I worked on gutting a house yesterday in Challmette, which those of you who came here in March with the Navs will remember as Cheryl's neighborhood, with the seafood-freezer and the snakes. Fortunately, no seafood or snakes yesterday - just lots and lots of sweat. It's 15 degrees hotter than it was in March, and far, far more humid, so the work is a lot different. I'm also doing it without a dozen good friends at my side, which also changes it a bit. But, I'll get to know this crew a little better, and the weather will improve over the next month or so, and things will get better. I'm taking today off to deal with some health issues.

For the next month or so, it will be just a handful of us gutting homes, but in October we'll have many, many short-term volunteers coming in. By that point we'll all hopefully be up to leading gut crews, and we can take care of 20 houses a week rather than 3 or so. On that note, I'd like to invite anyone who thinks they can get a group together to do so! For my student friends, I know that's tough during the year, but perhaps some adults from St. Luke's could come down, or whatever your situation might be. The city needs your help, and I need your company - I'm feeling somewhat isolated and lonely, and some friends coming down in October would brighen my outlook. :-)

Anyways, I thought I'd briefly describe the folks I'm working with:

Sam, from Detroit, has been here since the beginning of summer, and will likely stay until January. He graduated from college in the spring. He seems like a nicy guy. He lives in the same house as me, and I guess is sort of second in command.

Beck lives in the house, too. He's been here two weeks, and will be here through the month. We're sharing a room, at least for now, but I haven't talked to him much yet. He's splitting his time between the Diocese and a project for helping people under represented legally get good legal help. He's been working 12 hours a day on it. Good work ethic.

Neelie (probably spelled wrong) got here three days before me, and is the one other person living in the house. Like me, he's taking the fall off from his school. Seems like a nice guy - looks a bit like my friend Chris M. back at Dartmouth.

Emily also graduated in the spring. She's from Albany, and said there was no question where she'd be headed after school. She lives in an apartment in a transitional neighborhood. "It's the perfect apartment, by which I mean it has four concrete walls and it's MINE!" The neighborhood she lives in "used to have a crackbust a week; now it's just one every other week." (Don't worry, Mom, that's not the neighborhood I'm in!)

Finally, Dan is a carpenter, and graduated not too long ago. He grew up on Long Island, and remebmers watching hundreds of out-of-state vehicles poring into Lower Manhattan on 9-14-01, when the city was repopened. He feels a debt of gratitude, and wants to pay it forward. He came down after Christmas and stayed until April; he came down again a month or two ago and will be here until next April. He's the only other Episcopalian in the group.

Katie is in charge, but I haven't really met her yet. We talked briefly this morning. Two more long-term volunteers are coming in soon.

That's it for now. The house wireless is weird today, so I'm at the coffeeshop. I't s a nice place, a good spot to get lunch. Love you much, and I ask again, please stay in touch! My favorite part of the day comes post-work when I get to curl up with my computer and read notes from my friends, or even chat with them online. It makes me oh-so-happy. :-)

1 comment:

u2andcomicbooks said...

Hope you are feeling better, Nathan! Thank you so much for keeping this faithfully up and running! I miss you too!