Laundry

Sunday 23 April 2006, 7:11 pm


Friday, April 21

Today Mary and I were assigned to sort some laundry. They provide sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, and sheets to all the volunteers, the they won't have to bring those items from home on the plane. We had a huge pile of bags of all this that came back from the laundry, and we had to sort them into individual sets.

Bunkhouse, used for housing
There are two wooden bunkhouses here that were not here before. Each one houses 12 people on mattresses. There are also three large tents, each containing 14 cots. And there are six small tents, each containing three cots. So there were about 80 sets that needed to be put together. Some of the pillows were moldy so we set them out in the sun to dry out and maybe bleach out the mold. But then it started to rain, and we couldn't even transport the sets from the large tent where we'd sorted everything out. It rained so bad we didn't even want to leave the tent for a few seconds to use the bathroom or anything. Eventually it cleared up, and the sun came out, but the whole place was muddy and it was easy to slip. Eventually we got it all sorted out.

Showers with solid walls!
We also did some other cleaning errands around here that I can't remember right now. Oh yeah, we cleaned out the four new wooden- enclosed showers. They have a power washer, which is like a little lawn mower that shoots out high pressure warm water. We had a hard time getting it going, but Nola, who in the past has worked on boats, said it probably got wet in the rain and needed a little TLC. She helped us get it going, and then we were able to give the showers a thorough cleaning. Having cleaned them ourselves, we were then comfortable using them. They are in a small wooden building, not like the tent-style showers we used before (they are still here and still being used by other groups), and they are right next to our trailer so even when muddy we only have to walk a few steps.

The trailer where Mary and I are sleeping
About the accommodations here: Mary and I are in a 5th wheel we just call "the trailer." It used to be the office and it was located at Powerhouse church. It is still used as an office on rare occasions but we can stay there until someone comes who needs to use it as an office. The two ladies in charge, Di and Bonnie, are staying in another trailer across the street in Shirley's yard. Pete and Ralph are also in a trailer in Shirley's yard. Nola and her husband, who run the distribution center, are in a trailer near ours. Roger and John, handymen who will take on just about any job around here or around town, are staying in the back of a large van. Tony is in a tent, and one other guy whose name I can't remember is in another tent. As far as I know, they are the only two who are in tents.

By comparison, last time almost everyone was in tents, mostly small tents for the couples, but there was one large tent sometimes used by larger groups. A couple of those larger tents are still here, but they are now being used for storage.

There is also a new wooden tool shed here, and a small wooden office. They both look really nice. The two distribution tents are still the same. The third larger tent is still here; it is now the registration area. They also use it to show movies on Friday or Saturday nights, but we didn't do that this week. I hear they also use it for some kind of community dinner once a week. There are tables set up in there with quilted tablecloths. Mary and I like some of the quilts.

Tonight I got sick. Probably some kind of food poisoning. I felt really terrible for several hours. It felt very much like the thing I had in Sedona early last week, headache and nausea. But I couldn't do anything to fix it ... pain killers, emetrol, hydration, all ineffective. Eventually I threw up then slept. Felt much better in the morning. Mary was a wonderful nurse.

2006-katrina/20060423a