Monday, February 20, 2012



This has been a very productive week.  We had a team from IN who professed to be drywallers.  Drywallers is what we needed!  However, only about two of the 17 people knew how to hang drywall correctly.  But with a bit of instruction from Ken & Marv, they were doing good.  They hung all the drywall in a day and half and then began floating and taping and sanding.  By the end of the week, we have two coats of sheet rock mud on on and need one more coat, then final sanding, and then we can paint.

Drywall being delivered


One of the team members was a college student from Purdue
 and she was a very enthusiastic and wanting to learn type of girl.  She learned how to hang drywall (she was the youngest so it was easier for her to climb on the scaffolding), drill and screw into the drywall, cut and measure drywall, tape and float and sand.  One day she was sanding and she told me she would rather be outside.  The men were digging holes for the posts for the handicap ramp with a jack hammer and I asked her if she would like to give it a try.  Her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.  She was catching on quite well and enjoyed it – so much so that Marvin had her bust up concrete to put a small drain in the driveway.  Then she helped assemble the slats on the ramp with Ken’s trusty driver.  She was like a sponge.  She told us that she had never done any of this type of construction and was excited to learn – she was a good student.

Danielle - our eager college student running the jack hammer

We had an accident on our last day where my first aid training came in handy.  One of the elderly ladies Carolyn, (late 70’s) was on a scaffold and it wasn’t fastened securely and she fell off, gouging her hand in several places – blood EVERYWHERE!  I doctored her up and encouraged her to go to the hospital to get a couple of stitches in her hand and she flatly refused.  So I taped her gash where she had lost the skin tightly and put a bandage tightly over the section that needed a stitch or two.  Later that evening when we were at the play, the pastor (a paramedic/EMS) said I did a good job and she had agreed that she should have gone for stitches, but she said that I had pulled the skin tightly together that it looked like it would heal back together.  Carolyn sat next to me and she said her hand throbbed, so I gave her an Excedrin and about an hour later she said it had stopped.  I am sure she is gong to be quite sore, she has bruising on her arm and back where we think she had fallen..  She doesn’t remember how she fell or where – just remembers falling.

First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa encourages mission teams to share Wednesday night family night with them each week.  Meals are free and are quite good – grilled cod, chicken over rice, mixed veggies, yeast rolls – there were over 150 church members there.  This week there will be an Ash
Wednesday service after the dinner.

There was also another small team of five that were from York, PA that worked on a double wide trailer’s roof.  Shirley, the homeowner, had brought her whole family into the house (25 people living in a double wide!).  The storm damaged the roof and it was leaking onto where the children were sleeping on the couch.  She had no stove so she was using a George Foreman grill.  She currently has 17 family members living with her who have been displaced.  She is handicapped and depressed.  One of the other team leaders just sat and talked with her – sometimes that is all that they want – someone they can talk to – this is a process of healing for them. 

The team from IN had invited us to dinner on Thursday and we gave a presentation of behind the scenes of UMCOR and how they determine who gets what and what the process is.  Fortunately, I had done some intake and case management at Galveston and some in MS so I was able to give them a bit more information than they came in with.  Ken filled in the gaps where I was not able to answer.  We make a great team!  I spoke with one of the Case Managers on Thursday and his assistant is going to CA to visit her grandbaby and when he found out I had done some case management, he said he would be checking with my “bosses” to see if they would release me to help him out for the remainder of the month.  I hope so.

Deloris (the homeowner) came with her grandson, BoBo, and she was in tears to see what had been accomplished.  The last time she had been in the house it had only the studs in.  She is so very happy to see it coming to completion.  We are hoping to be here when she does move in.  We are shooting for the end of the month.  In two weeks we are to have 50 people here, so it looks like it might be close.

Julie, Doloris, BoBo
Ken has worked on the handicap ramp extension – it is beautiful.

Ken checking over the drawing

Ken coming down his almost completed ramp

We went to a play with the group from IN called “Noises”.  It was about behind the scenes of flubs of a play.  It was hysterical. 

Visit with my brother, Butch and his family
Melissa, Butch,  Jeremy, Julie & Jessica
That's all from Tuscaloosa this week.


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