Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Day 3 - Welcome to the suck.

This morning we got off to a late start. By the time I finished posting the pics and report last night it was about 10:30. Officially 'quiet time'. But when I got over to our tent there was some kind of party going on. It broke up within a half hour but not before these kids had knocked over three crosses planted on a small hill nearby. I stepped outside and was going to give these kids whatfore when I saw them trying to fix what they had done.What can I say? It looked like drunk evangelical marines had taken Iwo Jima. They were trying to plant the crosses but the dirt was very loose and they were very drunk and kept dropping the croes on each other and falling off the hill. I was too amused to chide them and they quieted down shortly thereafter.

Later I learned that the lead asshat was so drunk that he stumbled around in the loft and relieved himself next to a poor young volunteer, which sort of freaked her out. The next day there was lots of chatter about the incident. The kid in question didn't need to be asked, he left of his own accord. Darius, who is in charge was calm but firm.

"I know this is a tough job, and I know you need to unwind at the end of the day after what we do, but we didn't come here for a party. Anyone who fucks up like that again will be asked to leave".

I agree. The heavy drinking was the cause of our late start. Today we ran with an interior crew. As hard as hauling trees was, interior cleanup is even harder. We cleaned out a small Vietnamese business. They obviously made jewelry and all of their equipment was totaled. I cannot describe to you how damaging seawater is. It's like painting instant rust on anything it touches. I turned over a box in a back room and discovered that I had stumbled upon several gallons of sulfuric acid. I carefully put it down and went outside to rinse off my gloves. Luckily the containers were not leaking.

The two safes had to be left behind.

The owners know that everything gets pitched. Anything they want should be removed before we arrive. I found this small shrine in a back room and carefully put it out by the curb with what little respect I could. When we drove by later it was gone.

Our second project was clearing a small house. When we entered the home it had already had its contents removed. It looked no worse than several places I might had rented as a younger man. But once water floods a house you have to pull out all the materials on the walls down to the studs. The paneling as easy, then another layer of paneling. But then I learned that most houses down here have walls made with tongue and groove slats. This is just like old floors but on ALL the walls and it is a bitch to pull out. I spent ten minutes beating the hell out of one piece before I was shown the proper way to use a crowbar in this situation. Even with a crew of ten we spent the rest of the day on this project. Every time I yanked a piece off the wall a small shower of filth would flutter down on me. I have never in my life been more filthy. We discovered that there had been a bad fire at some point and the previous owner just covered it up. At least when the house it re-done it will have proper walls. Everything will need to be sprayed but thats for another crew.

This is the hardest work I think I have ever done and by the end of the day I was having a hard time keeping up. This was a young crew and that crowbar kept getting heavier and heavier. Rossana did great despite the pain in her feet. She took a solid nail to the foot but the boots stopped it. Did I mention that I was absolutely filthy?

At lunch we took our food to go and went down to 'The Point'. The Images below are of a Casino Barge run aground and Route 90 (or what's left of it.)

Rain and high winds tonight so we stayed at Vlads and got some laundry done. Too tired to write more.

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