I’m blogging this in the middle of the afternoon on Day 3, but the content pertains to wrapping up yesterday’s events, so we’ll call it even…
Picking up from my last post, we lucked out for dinner. We’re in cattle country and that means the steaks are thick, juicy, and cheaper than hamburger! Everyone helped themselves to a great steak cooked on a grill outdoors by grillmaster Steve C. as well as some salad, broasted veggies, and some brownies made by the couple temporarily housed in the church, Chris and Steph. I tried Itaian dressing for the first time and was think I found a new tangy favorite.
After dinner, the group broke up into three segments. Many of the adults retired to their books, chats, or even sleep. Two adults however, Kristen and my wife Kelly, joined the girls to watch Stick It, a movie about gymnastics which I gave a chance for a few minutes because Jeff Bridges plays the coach but I couldn’t stick it out for long (to each his her own; this one just wasn’t for me). In the meantime, the third segment, youths Trevor and Pete and I, had a guitar / ukulele jam session, playing Trevor’s favorites (“Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin), my favorites (“Strange Apparition” by Beck), and ironic favorites (“Since You’ve Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson). It was around that time we were all brought back together to get the lowdown from (the other) Nate on what we would be doing in the morning.
Nate’s forty-five minute presentation was both fascinating and heart-wrenching. Over 85,000 homes in the Port Arthur and surrounding area were damaged in hurricanes in recent years and just when it appeared clean-up for Hurricane Rita was going well, Hurricane Ike hit. These are folks without much hope, people not on the news and without Katrina response-level aid. Nate told us UMCOR has been rebuilding homes as fast as possible with 20-40 volunteers in the area per week and our job would be directly reated to two homes – one needs new floors, ceiling and wall work, steps, and to have its water heater moved. The other home needs a former window-turned-hole in the wall to have its air conditioner removed and be patched up, its other windows to be finished, and new tile laid in the bathroom so the toilet can be put back in so family can live in it once again. Our group was enthusiastic to ask questions to our laid-back UMCOR liason, and he is excited to work with us. Nate is employed in mission work year-round in Texas, though he’s from Ohio, and he made a connection with Trevor, as they’re both originally from the Cleveland area.
After Nate’s presentation, the girls finished the movie, many of the adults went to bed, and the guys wrapped up the guitar / ukulele jam. The youth and I got together to play a few hands of The Great Dalmuti, a card game that rewards royalty and punishes peasants which, if it sounds odd and out of the mainstream, completely is and yes, belongs to Pastor Kent. This game has been a staple at past youth outings like Camp Du Nord, the boundary waters, and Confirmation retreats, and it only seems appropriate to bring it on a mission trip. The highlight of the game was watching Leah K. go from the Greater Peon, the lowest position of play in the game, for two rounds in a row to the Greater Dalmuti, the highest position of play in the game, for two rounds in a row. The look on her face when from bored frustration to triumphant glee in no time. Then, it was bedtime since Nate arrives at 8:00am to take us to our work site.
Other highlights of the day include playing with cute puppy Mischief, taking those wonderfully soothing showers, the girls picking me up a pink bath scrubby, meeting the men’s group from First UMC who are staying here tonight, too, after a weekend of mission work, and of course, did we mention the steaks?
We love your comments. Keep them coming! 🙂 I found out from Barry the blog underwent it’s overhaul and the lack of picture-posting ability is likely due to that new coding. Hopefully we’ll have it fixed by tomorrow night.