new-orleans2008-200Wednesday began with thundershowers and rain. One group tried to go work on the interior of a house, but was turned away because the owner didn’t feel well. The rest of the groups were told to stand down until noon. I took the break to do some shopping for Katrina Relief, some planned and unplanned. I went to Lowe’s with a list from Kathleen and Mike in the warehouse and bought tools and supplies that they desperately need here. The $800 came from a generous grant from the UNH Parents’ Association. It was to cover tools needed while the UNH-ABC groups are here. I bought everything from paint brushes, rollers and drop clothes to drywall screw guns, a tile cutter, and compressor adapters. Mike and some of thee other full-time volunteers were thrilled ar the infusion of much-needed supplies. In addition, when Kathleen realized I was going out, she gave me her shopping list; it’s not everyday you get to pick up 16 loaves of bread, a flat of jelly, and 80 pieces of fried chicken. We did have one casualty: I got a call while I was out that one of my students was being taken to the hospital. I panicked until I heard the students in the background on the call laughing and giggling, so I knew there was no blood spurting. A feared broken ankle turned into a sprain: a skim boarding accident. In the afternoon I went with two groups for an “emergency” clearing of a lot for construction. it does seem that the word emergency is thrown around quite a bit her, so it is hard to read. The “lot” turned into a scrub forest, near the the Gulf almost to the Louisiana line. Scrub pine, magnolia, holly, and a lot of green brier. It was daunting at first, but once we charged in with saws, chainsaws, pruners, and a dozen our more young backs we made significant headway in just a few hours. We’re hoping to head back there today or to finish some other jobs from earlier in the week. But as John Edwards, a full-time volunteer says: “you just go with flow.” Last night I went into New Orleans with a small group. We let the students roam Bourbon Street while we went for coffee and beignets and spent most of the evening going in and out of the music venues on Frenchmen Street. Caught one set from the Pfister Sisters at the Spotted Cat. They are three professional women who moonlight as an Andrews Sisters-esque act. I have seen and enjoyed them before and they did not disappoint. We also saw a bluesman who played one or two guitars while playing the bass guitar with his toes. This was not a carnival act (well, maybe it was), but he did a more than credible job of it. Tonight we’re heading down for brass band night at Preservation Hall and class-wise, at least, they are no long my responsibility. As for today, I’m just trying to go with the flow.