Today was the final day at the Lennox home ans admittedly, I was a bit discouraged because our cite coordinator Catherine told us that the afternoon group had gotten a chance to meet the Lennoxes eldest daughter the afternoon prior. I felt like we were at such disadvantage working at the home so early in the morning. But something must have heard and acknowledged my sadness because as I continued to tape the seam between the ceiling and the wall, a man walked up the front stairs, unzipped his hoodie sweatshirt, retied his sneakers and opened door. Covered in all purpose mud, I was the first person he saw and jokingly said, “Well you look like you’re having fun. It’s only 9 am and your covered in that stuff.” We laughed and he shook my wrist, since my hand was covered in mud, and said, “Hi I’m Chris. Thank you for working so hard on my home- I’m here to help y’all out today.” I laughed and introduced myself. I quickly got back to work after this and Chris made his rounds through the house to introduce himself and see the progress that had been made in the week. Little did he know, just seeing him walk up the stairs made my last service trip complete. The interaction between us volunteers and the home owner was what I was waiting for to make this trip complete.
Not too long after his arrival, he joined me in the living room and started taping the seams in the ceiling across the room. He started to tell Emily and I about the other volunteers who were there the week before us who were having a Harlem Shake/New Orleans Bounce Dance Off when he walked in.
I don’t know if it was just me, but just having Chris there working right alongside us, made the trip more fulfilling than it already was. He was such a pleasure to have and truly an inspiration. This feeling was amplified even more when we met his wife Cawanda and their adorable one-year-old son, Cameron. Cawanda thanked us for all that we were doing and shared a few laughs to keep us inspired to keep the work ethic going as the day came to an end.
Oddly enough, for our last night in NOLA we only shared a dinner at a local restaurant called ‘The Joint’ that served what has to be the BEST slow cooked pork and ribs I have ever eaten before! After the dinner, everyone was pretty ready to go back and call it a night after our final reflection where each person paired up and discussed a question that ultimately summed up their week or experience.
(Our final morning at the Lennox home)
(Tara and Diana scraping linoleum from the bathroom floor)
(Keith, getting in a quick facial, haha)
(In Order: Bryan (a friend of our cite supervisior Catherine, in the yellow and black hat, Katherine B., Diana, Dan, Cawanda, Baby Cameron, Chris, Me (Leanne), Emily, Tara, Sean and Keith…NOLA 2013) Not pictured: Jeannean and Steve
(The TASTIEST pulled pork sandwich with Mac and Cheese I have ever tasted from The Joint!)
(In case you were wondering what in the heck the New Orleans Bounce is, here is a link that should shed some light:
or you can search New Orleans Bounce on YouTube