Week One of Students' Second Katrina Relief Trip

Senior Austin Gee and sophomore Katy Van de Putte apply mud to new drywall prior to painting.

Some 20 Albion College students, along with a few parents and Albion College staff members, are spending January 5-19 in Louisiana and Mississippi, on the second student-sponsored trip for Katrina relief work.  The following is an email update from student organizer Rachel Lippert.

Hi from Mississippi!

Over a thousand miles later and a week into our work trip we are now ready to start phase two of our journey. We are using our "F and P" -- flexibility and patience -- a saying we all use when we encounter trying situations.

John Cawood uses his 6'6" height to sand a high ceiling.

Last week we did things from roofing, to drywalling to getting a house nearly finished. It has been an amazing trip so far. Everyone who came down thinking they weren't skilled enough learned quickly how useful and how fast they could pick up on skills: knowing the difference between a flathead and Phillip's head screwdriver or how to properly lay tile or lay a roof.

I was the site leader for a work team that prepped a house in New Orleans for Audrey Powell, a woman who has been living with a friend for over six minths and has been separated from her family. My team primed and painted every wall and ceiling in her entire two-story house. We also trimmed every room, tiled and finished drywalling the bathrooms, cut and installed windowsills and did numerous other finishing jobs to her house. Of all the people there, I was the one who nailed the door shut when installing the trim. That was a funny incident.

The work crew enjoys a short day of rest in Gulfport, Miss.

Lunch on the curb at a work site.