For as long as I can remember, my church has been going on work labor mission trips (like habitat for humanity). I have been waiting until it would finally be my turn to go. In years past the group had been going to West Virginia to build a house.
My first trip was in June of 2006, the summer after hurricane Katrina and Rita took place. Because of the natural disaster that had put the whole country into turmoil, our church youth mission group decided to make the change and go to Louisiana where we knew that our work was greatly needed.
Abbeyvillie Louisiana was the destination of our trip. A couple hours on an airplane and a four hour drive later, we were there. All sixty of us hammer ready workers, ranging in age from 8 to 58.
We got broken up into about 5 different work groups and by the time the trip was over we worked on 6 work sites. Some of which included, but not limited to:
-putting up porches
-demolishing a bathroom
-power washing a muddy house
-putting up a new bathroom
-painting the new bathroom
-trying to talk in southern accents
-painting the power washed house
And much much more.
These work groups weren't decided by just a flip of the coin. We were all asked to fill out an evaluation sheet many months before in which we were asked to label our construction skills from 1 to 5. One being never done it before, to absolutely horrific at it. Five being, do it everyday, and are amazingly awesome at it...basically pro. I along with my friends took this somewhat seriously and put what we honestly thought we were. We also thought we could "beat the system" by putting all the same numbers for each category to end up on the same work sites... it worked.
My evaluation sheet looked something like this:
painting: 1 2 3 4 5
spackling:1 2 3 4 5
roofing:1 2 3 4 5
using a saw:1 2 3 4 5
using a hammer:1 2 3 4 5
using power tools:1 2 3 4 5
basic construction skills:1 2 3 4 5
Lucky for me, I wasn't stuck with the painting like a was expecting to be. I got to insulate a trailer and re-do the bathroom. However, it was a close call and I learned not to really put a 5 for painting.