Today’s blog writers: Shannon White, Asia Moore, Ashley Erd

Shannon: I woke up late this morning. This week has been far from easy for me. I walked over to the lunch house to see what my assignment would be for the day. The past few days have been difficult on the work site because I’ve had a hard time finding something that I’m good at. I was assigned to do some caulking in one of the houses we’ve been rehabilitating this week. I followed Tony, our supervisor to the house and he showed me how to use a caulking gun. He left me to it, and I got started. I quickly found that this was the job for me. The workday flew by, and we got to have Chick-fil-a for lunch, which was amazing. After lunch, we headed to Grand Isle State Park, where we hung out on the beach, took pictures, and had a picnic dinner that was prepared by some of my other teammates. During dinner, we talked about our favorite parts of the day. After feeling down on myself all week, I was blessed to hear that I was part of some of my teammates’ favorite parts of their day. When we got home from Grand Isle, Ashley, Asia, and I were in charge of running our nightly reflection. We played a game called “Touch Someone Who” which involves giving anonymous compliments. It was amazing to know how many people felt so lovingly toward me, even though I didn’t know exactly who it was. Today reminded me of the reason why I applied for this trip back in October. God called me to a place that was leaps and bounds out of my comfort zone, and I’m so thankful that I followed His call, and faced this experience head-on.

Asia: This year’s habitat experience has been amazing for me! Our site manager Tony has made the Habitat experience run smoothly. He is such a nice and caring man, which made working on the site fun and enjoyable.  While in Louisiana, I have experienced many new things and made memories of a lifetime. I was able to experience New Orleans for the first time, and it was exceptional! I ate beignets at Café Du Monde (they are delicious), tasted a variety of Louisiana signature dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, and etoufee, and I was able to experience the fast-paced culture of NOLA. In addition, we were able to visit the beach twice while on our trip, once in Biloxi, Mississippi and once at the Grand Isle State Park. While in Biloxi, MS we were able to visit Sister Mary Jo Mike and we attended Mass with her and enjoyed a nice lunch by the coast. Not only did I get to visit these wonderful places, I also was able to bond more with other students on the trip and learn new skills on the worksite.  A wonderful woman named Michele brought us lunch from a variety of restaurants in the area that were kind enough to donate food for us to eat. We enjoyed food like blackened chicken caesar salad, Chick-Fil-A, Popeye’s, and more. On the worksite I stained porch decks, painted doors and frames, and completed sealing on porch decks. Not only were we able to help people by rehabbing homes, but also we were also able to make many memories to share in the future. Each night we completed reflections that led me to learning more about myself and allowed me to get to know the other students better, which was nice. If I had the opportunity, I would come back to Thibodaux, Louisiana again because there is no other place like it.

Ashley: This week has been a great week. I got to meet new people, connect with others I already knew, and got to go on many adventures while also doing some hard work. My job for most of the week has been laying wood flooring…it has not been easy. The directions say it’s supposed to easily all click together, but it does not “easily” do anything. So it has been frustrating laying the flooring, but I have not given up. Three others and I will finish flooring one whole house. This house took us all week to floor, and now we will be able to see all of our frustration, hard work and progress come together. Today we also took an adventure to Grand Isle to see the beach and walk around for a while. It was beautiful; we stayed long enough to see the sun go down. I said that was way worth the hour and a half it took us to get there. As we all stood looking to the water as the sun went down I felt so much joy and happiness. Everyone just stood and looked, no words were really said; we were going to bust looking at a beautiful picture God had painted for us. While at the beach we also had a little picnic. We brought food to make sandwiches, and had a nice little picnic looking out to the beach. We ended the night with a really nice reflection called “touch someone who.” This is where reflective questions are said and we go around and softly touch whom it applies too.  The people being touched cannot see who is touching them. This is a really nice activity because you can see who cares for you, admires you, or believes you are hardworking.

Asia Moore painting trim

Shannon White masters caulking

Ashley Erd sanding and smiling

Team photo on boardwalk at Grand Isle

Group photo in front of a home

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