…but I really just needed time to recuperate after spring break. Or, in my case, alternative spring break (ASB). From March 1st through March 8th, I was living in a church’s bunkhouse in New Iberia, Louisiana, where I spent my days rebuilding houses with a team of 12 from Northeastern (along with another team from Rice University).
This trip taught me a lot about privilege and gratitude, especially coming from a school like Northeastern, where so many opportunities are provided for us. The main house we worked on - a home in Jeanerette, LA - was covered in rotten wood, mold, and termites. In fact, it needed to be fleshed out from the inside. The entire rebuild process - put together through Rebuilding Together Acadiana (RTA), a team of Louisiana natives partnered up with the wonderful members of AmeriCorps - took longer than the week we were there, though we managed to fix up the exterior.
When we finished, it looked a little something like this:
We had replaced the windows and siding and painted it. We worked in rain and shine, if only to see the smile on the owner’s face - Miss Ramona deserved the best.
A few of us also spent a couple of days fixing up the roof of a house in New Iberia, belonging to Miss Madeline. As far as new skills go, I now can say that I can use a saw and a nail gun, and I know how to paint, attach siding, and shingle a roof, so that’s pretty cool.
I remember, the day we finished up working on a section of the roof, Miss Madeline’s daughter-in-law came over to us and gave all of us a hug, telling us that we were a gift from god. That alone made the entire trip worthwhile.
Of course, we were in Louisiana, so we spent a couple of days doing touristy things. On Tuesday, we went to Lafayette to see three parades for Mardi Gras. We accumulated a ton of beads, among other strange souvenirs, including a packet of ramen.
(That’s me in front center, with the black jacket and brown boots.)
On Wednesday, we spent half the day working on fleshing out the interior, and the other half at the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island. I received 4 free mini Tabasco sauce bottles, which was nice because I love spicy foods.
We left on Saturday, but before we did, we stopped by New Orleans. I wish we could have spent more time there, but I’ll probably travel back again someday, if only to volunteer with RTA once more.
I guess you could say I had a successful spring break. How was everyone else’s?