Saturday, February 13, 2010

Week #2 in Galveston

Our last visit in Houston was with the group I worked with at Fluor Corp.  I could not believe I have been gone from there for almost 12 years!  We had a great time reminiscing.

We are now camped at the Island Community Church RV Park. Last year, Julie worked with the City to have them create this RV park specifically to provide accommodations to the volunteers who come to Galveston in RV’s.

Saturday, Sandy, our construction manager threw a big, all-day party to celebrate Mardi Gras.  He parked one of the UMCOR flatbed trailers on the Seawall and brought a grill and picnic table from Crockett Church.  He told us he was there at 5:00 a.m. setting up.  It is quite difficult to get a parking spot on the Seawall during Mardi Gras.  Tons of RVs lined the Seawall.  From the flatbed and picnic area, we had a great view of the three parades, the Gulf and the fireworks.  Sandy cooked hot dogs and sausage for lunch and chicken for dinner.  Everyone who came brought a side or dessert, so there was a variety of good stuff
In the parade were 10 Clydesdale horses pulling a carriage.  What amazingly beautiful and powerful horses!  The costumes of all the people on the floats were bright, wild and crazy and there were many beads thrown! We avoided it last year because we had been working on that day.   Overall, there was a lot of family fun where we were parked.  It was neat just to be there, taking it all in.

We spent a little time with Billie Graff and his wife Dawn. Billie Is the Baptist Pastor that we worked with last year.  Billie is the pastor of record, but no longer does any pastoral duties at University Baptist Church.  He was working there without a salary for 18 months and can no longer continue “pro-bono”.  He is currently involved with a construction project at a Baptist Church in League City, and he has his house in Galveston for sale.  Please pray that Dawn and Billie can find new careers in this area.

We have been assigned as “Construction Supervisors” which entails picking up and delivering supplies to the sites and making sure all is done the right way. This week we have 22 volunteers (a group of 10 Amish from Iowa, and 12 Mennonites from PA) from the Mennonite Disaster Service.  At one house, an elderly man (Mr. Abraham) who is 87 years old and a widower, lives in a FEMA trailer next door.  We are painting the rooms in his house and installing kitchen countertops.   He is so funny – he usually waits until we are there late in the afternoon, pulls one of us aside and asks if we can do something additional that another group has missed.  He just wants to have it like it was.  One afternoon he complained that his electric dryer was not getting hot.  Ken had to repair the receptacle wiring and also the dryer cord was wired incorrectly.  After that, Ken had to install a new Dryer Vent.

Another house (Mrs. Dobson), we are refinishing the wood floors on the second story and painting the exterior siding and trim.  We have 2 other houses where we are finalizing the electrical and plumbing.  Once it passes inspection, then we will be able to have a team do drywall.

Each morning we have breakfast with the team at 6:30 and are learning a little more about them that we didn’t know.  They have been a joy to work with. Next week, a new group of volunteers arrive, this will be a larger group, approximately 40 Amish and Mennonites from Lancaster, PA .

We are working closely with Denny and Sandy, another husband/wife team from Michigan, They will be leaving at the end of the month and they are showing us all the things they have learned so we can continue when they leave.  Denny and Sandy have been here since early January.

The weather since Monday has been cold, rainy, and windy.   On Wednesday, we even had a little sleet.  We are hoping for a little sunshine this weekend, but it still will be unseasonably cold.  Tonight (Thursday) the wind is howling, and the RV is really shaking.

A note on the relief monies:  Galveston still has not seen a penny of federal disaster relief money almost 18 months after Hurricane Ike.  It is still caught up in the bureaucracy.  The latest fight is in the Texas legislature about how to distribute the money.  Instead of allotting more money to the counties that were most affected, the legislature is wanting to distribute it evenly around the state.  That means that a county in north Texas that had a couple of roofs blown off in the storm would get similar funding to Galveston County.  Crazy and illogical – but it is an election year.

On Friday, the Iowa and PA teams departed, on Sunday,  a new group will be coming in from Lancaster, PA, unless delayed by all the snow storms across the country.  

 Ken decided to help Billie Graff on Friday and Saturday.  The house he is working on is built up on piers about 10’ in the air.  Most of the drywall is completed and painted.  We are now getting ready to lay tile in the bathrooms, and kitchen.  On Friday, Ken installed a temporary toilet for use by the workers.  On Saturday, he completed the “rough-in” plumbing in the shower stall,  It is now ready for cement board and ceramic tile.

The connections here are very limited but will try to keep it updated. 


Blogger Sallilou said...

TY for the update!! You seem to be having a great time!! and doing a lot of good at the same time!

5:09 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Hi Kenny, Cindy Fileger here. I am so thrilled at finding you and Julie. Gregg Mitcho gave me the info. My dad could really call you "skinhead" Davis now! ha! He is still with us, doing well for 82, still hunts as much as he can, my mother passed several years ago. Hubby, Jim, and I live on our "farm" of 22 acres in a little town outside Daytona Beach not as big as Lake City. (Lake Helen) We have two kids and three grandkids and are "semi" retired. Jim has trouble turning down jobs. He is a machinist and is working his own hours for a friend making machines that automate the production of guardrails for the highways. I sit and knit! We hope to travel with a rig and thought we would like volunteering at the national parks. What you and Julie are doing sounds wonderful, may God continue to bless you and yours. Would love to hear back from you, I am The original message from you will "bounce" to my WebMail acct, but I will gladly add you.

4:18 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home