Hope Team - MDS Trip Blog, New Orleans

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hungry and tired...

Mark reads the Cracker Barrel menu while Connie shows the fatigue of the week. We're in Knoxville for the night and watching the weather forecast for tomorrow evening. Hopefully the weather forecasters will be wrong again.


We're about 1:20 from Knoxville where we'll stop for the night. Back in light rain. Ask Joy what makes a stinker of a date.

Mississippi - Alabama border

Susan takes over the wheel from Mark, and Connie keeps her company. We head for Alabama. Morning naps are over and some break out the DVD players and others listen to music.

Heading home!

We left about 7am central with a bit of sunshine, but heavy clouds taking over. It has been a great week and we said goodbye to our coworkers who are returning to Oregon, Virginia, and Manitoba. It will actually feel good to sit all day!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Guess Who - Friday

We enjoyed some New Orleans style Jazz at Preservation Hall. Then some donuts and coffee. So, tonights guess who is... Who really enjoyed their sugar coated donut at Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter.?


Lunch served by Ms. Vergie Halloway. Sausage, chicken, shrimp, crab, oysters, crawfish, and who knows what else! Good, good. Now to get some more drywall hung and joints mudded. If we can get moving again.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Guess Who - Thursday

We have a winner on the person holding the Pomeranians... Pat! Her daughter, Kara, is concerned that its getting pretty close to cats!

So, tonight, who is sitting on the porcelain throne?

Thursday night in Naw'lins...

..and we are realizing how fast our week has gone by. You all just missed a wonderful impromptu concert of gospel songs ---including Mansion Over the Hilltop and If That Isn't Love---by our 22 year and 24 year old crew leaders , Curt and Neil and their wives, Kathryn and Hilda. They've been as far as Mexico singing for the Lord Jesus. It has been great fun working and playing with these couples as well as the other longtermers.
Painting, drywalling, grouting tile, spackling and a little sightseeing filled our day today. At two sites, men stopped by and asked if they could help us work on the houses. When they were told we were working for free, they walked away uninterested.
We've been enjoying experiencing New Orleans culture.....
At the Reau house on Jackson St, Jeff, Mitzi, Susan and Pat were treated today to a short parade of jazz players. Across from the house is a combination life insurance office and funeral home.?? We watched 2 funeral processions in 2 days. In New Orleans, front doors are very important as a good first impression, so folks will spare nothing on that purchase. Cars drive by with OUTSIDE speakers blaring... and you see many SUVs far too expensive to be bought by a legal job considering the age of the driver.
Our Canadian cooks have done an awesome job all week... tonite hush puppies were on the table!
The job johnnies have been hassling Susan often this week as one day a salamander visited and then today she screamed upon entry into the port-a-pot as a person stared at her. (It was a mirror!)
Tomorrow a short day and then cleanup..

Hi everyone!

It's a beautiful day in New Orleans! Today Connie, Barb and I are getting to try our hand at mudding at Virgie's house. Virgie is quite the lady - she has the help of the Holy Spirit in designing her house! She so appreciates the "Midianites" coming to work on her house. Tomorrow she hopes to make lunch for us. Well, back to work. Joy

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday Guess Who

OK. We've got a couple winners. Cassondra and Kara guessed correctly on the slippers being on the feet of Joy, and Cassondra and Betty guessed correctly the gloved hand belonged to Connie (keeping it in the family!) That leaves the person wearing the cockroach killing shoe unidentified.

Tonight, the Guess Who is the person holding the two Pomeranians at the house dedication this evening.

email your guess to hopemds@gmail.com

Singing at House Dedication

All the long-termers and short-termers here this week met at the Jarrold House for a dedication service this evening. There was a short program of readings, prayer and gifts from two churches that had sent groups that worked on the house including a prayer shawl and a wall hanging. Here's a video of the hymn we sang.


More Wed Pics

Insulating a shotgun house and interior architecture.

Wednesday work report

Busy day today at four houses. Here are some pics... of teams getting their gear ready and loaded in trucks, and grouting a kitchen floor.

Tonight, we've got a special treat. We're going to a house dedication for a house that was just completed.

Update on Guess Who will come later!

Wednesday Breakfast

New assignments on the board. Connie, Barb, and Joy go to the Halloway house to hang drywall with three guys to help them. Mark and Arlen go back to the Jefferson house to finish laying tile. Pat, Jeff, Mitzi, and Susan go to the Reault house to paint trim. Lunches are carefully packed and in the right coolers. We thank God every morning and sing a hymn or two before heading out. .

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Home owners visit

A couple pics of home owners visiting work sites today. Tomorrow, the work site teams gets shuffled up.

Guess Who - Tuesday

So far, despite numerous responses, we're zero for two. No one has correctly guessed Sunday's Guess Who. The slippers are not being worn by Mitzi (highest number of votes), Connie, or Pat. And, Rosene, the two feet do belong to the same person. The cockroach did not die at the foot of Mark as several people guessed. So, let's try a third. Who was relieving stress by karate chopping wood today? email your response to hopemds@gmail.com

Jefferson house

Beautiful day at the Jefferson house. Tiled a bathroom and laundry, another bath and kitchen to go. Note the "shotgun" house nextdoor. No hallway. You enter the frontroom, walk thru the bedrooms and kitchen to go out the backdoor.

Tuesday breakfast

A new house on the assignment board today. Mark and Arlen will be laying tile at the Jefferson house. Here the team waits for breakfast. And discusses how we slept ("like a rock" to "not so good") and how we feel ("like a rock" to "not so good").

Monday, February 23, 2009

Guess Who - Monday

Guess the owner of the shoe. Death of a super-sized cockroach was not sanctioned by Jeff. Email your answer to hopemds@gmail.com.

Results from yesterday's Guess Who... no winner yet. It's not Mitzi. Not Connie. And, no, it isn't two different women's feet.

We Are Tired.

The Bloggers (Arlen) hands are tired from a day of over-enthusiastic destruction and mayhem. You've seen pictures from Talbert house where Jeff & Mitzi, Arlen & Barb, Connie, and Pat worked at destruction. Mark and Joy worked at a new construction. The house will be on 6 foot tall pylons. they spread sand around the foundation, and started the construction of the floor. Susan was at another house painting.

Tomorrow, crews return to the same sites as well as another house to lay some tile. Dinner was excellent, like a thanksgiving meal.

There is another post coming for the Guess Who of the day.

Lunch in the sun...

... and it feels good! Working hard at our site. Filled the 1st dumpster. The other group is starting new construction - on 6 foot tall pilings! We'll get their report tonight.

Break time

Snack and rest. Stuff is flying!

Begin work day 1...

We've packed lunches and are having breakfast and then morning devotions. Two crews going out today. Demolition and construction. Ready to go! Click on pics to see bigger versions.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Guess Who #1

Email your answer to hopemds@gmail.com. Winner will be announced later.

We're here and oriented...

We arrived at 6pm after a quick loop thru the French Quarter. We met the long termers (mostly Canadian Mennonites), got briefed on the rules and procedures for the week, and then had an interesting overview of New Orleans and the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The ladies learned what face masks are really supposed to be used for. Don't ask! Tomorrow the work begins.

Big Easy Diner

Stopping to eat before arriving at MDS Unit.


Ain't much to report on from Mississippi, no offense to any native Mississippians. Just long stretches of road with nothing to look at except trees. But, the grass is green here! 2.5 hours to go.

Deep South...

You know you're in the deep south when Subway sells boiled peanuts! Regular and Cajun. We asked how you eat them. "Lahk a reglurr peenuuuut" was the reply. But not the shell - we clarified that point. Eating lunch on the road (naturally), and Pat takes over the controls from Mark.

1st stop in Alabama

We're seeing some historical places like Chickamauga battlefield, and Chatanooga Choo-Choo (no kidding!). Fortunately, we've got a history major with us, Jeff, but unfortunately he says those facts have been pushed out by other facts (mostly by Booth Brothers and gospel music trivia). So it remains to be seen if he becomes known as "perfessor" on this trip.

Start of day two

We are off and rolling again after scraping the ice off the windshield. The road looks empty this morning as we head on south toward our destination. Everyone seems ready to be on the move after a good nights rest and breakfast this morning.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

End of Day 1

After a good home-cooked meal, sorta, we're retiring for the night. About nine hours of driving left to do tomorrow. We passed another MDS van late this afternoon with three people from the Souderton area. They're headed for the same location. Their group shrunk late this week because of illness and injury. G'night.

One more leg...

Last leg ahead. 139 miles to the Knoxville hotel. Good traveling with more movies, snoozing, and snacking. Arlen takes the last leg and we should arrive around 5:45pm. See you after dinner.

Somewhere in VA...

2nd stop near Roanoke for more gas and some Subway food. A few of us have had heavy eyes (and gave in), a couple are watching Evan Almighty (and laughing out loud occasionally), and the rest of us just watch the countryside roll by. Lot's of cows in VA! Susan, the ex-long haul trucker, now guides us southwesterly.

On our way...

Mark fills the tank in West Virginia for the first of many stops. Nice sunny day for traveling. We loaded our bags in the trailer at church, had a prayer of blessing on our trip and week ahead, then settled in our seats. Pat takes over the wheel and we head on down I81.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Thanks for visiting our trip blog. The team members for this trip are Pat B, Sue B, Connie H, Joy S, Arlen and Barb, Jeff and Mitzi, and Mark S. For more info on the location, click the MDS-New Orleans link on the right. We're looking forward to a great week together as a team. Check back often starting Saturday as we get rolling toward the "Big Easy".