Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Week 2 - Day 2
Today was a very fun day. We are in the process of painting a house. The owners name is Lucille. She is extremely kind. She made us home-made ice tea and she was the sweetest person I have ever met. I’m looking forward to the rest of the job.
This is my first mission, and so far it has been really fun. Today we picked apricots from trees and then sorted a couple tons of cucumbers. It was better than working outside because it was air-conditioned. Picking apricots is a lot harder than I thought it would be.
For my 4th, and final, mission, I am on the same site as Will. As he said, we are working at a woman named Lucille’s house, painting and doing some repair work on her bathroom. What really struck me today was the difference that just being on one side of the street can make. On the block that Lucille lives on, the majority of the homes (Especially Lucille’s) are all well-kept, and are graffiti-free, and it seems like your typical middle-class neighborhood. However, when you go to the next block over, you can tell that a different type of person lives there. That block reminded me so much of a mix of those old photos that you see of homes during the Great Depression, and the Los Angeles ghettos. All the homes are run-down, some have the windows boarded, and all have some kind of graffiti on them.
But at the same time, even though I know that so much more could be done at that block, I feel extremely fortunate to be working for such a kind old lady like Lucille. She is the definition of selflessness, and she will not take no for an answer any day. She brewed us the best iced tea, and she was very welcoming from the moment that we all got there. Although her well-kept house and yard are not what you would define as a “Mission Home,” her outright gratitude to have us there is going to make this a great experience.
When we pulled up to Miss Lucille’s home I thought that we had the wrong address. We were there to paint the outside of a house. This house, on first impression, seemed to be well kept with a fenced yard with flowers, a nice porch, and hanging birdbaths.
Miss Lucille met us after a couple of knocks on the door and welcomed us all inside. She is a most gracious person with sharing her family history. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren came to visit too. We all were able to get to know her and she got to know us too. She is one of those people that could be everyone’s grandmother, she is so sweet and generous.
To top it all off, she made southern sweetened iced-tea! I’m not usually a sweetened iced-tea lover, but she made one out of me.
We are all looking forward to completing the mission and giving back to Miss Lucille by giving her home a fresh coat of paint.
At the beginning of the day our group went to Northwest Harvest to see what they had for us to do. We were there for about a half an hour talking about how people got to where they were. Northwest Harvest is a food distributor for food banks all across the state. They had us drive to a apricot field where we picked fruit for about 2 hours. We filled up about 10 boxes, which is not very much in price. After 2 hours we went back to the warehouse to pack loaves of bread into boxes and put cucumbers in boxes and weigh them. The work was not very labor intensive and I hoped that I would sweat a little. That is okay though because it is work that had to be done.
I was working on the White Swan reservation today. When we first arrived we knocked and knocked but no one was home… So Pat (our site leader) made a few calls and we decided that we would just clean the yard until they got home. The yard had many cars and piles of cans, trash and car parts. As the afternoon progressed we divided and conquered the yard to the best of our ability by having the girls stuffing all the trash into garbage bags and the guys move old furniture away from the house. After awhile it started to get hotter and hotter and we started to run out of water. Thankfully the family came home and there were four kids and they were ADORABLE. Laura broke the ice by playing catch with them and after that they were sold. They helped with everything. The oldest son was awesome. I was scrubbing the floor and he without asking brought me a bucket with water because he thought I might need it. He is 12 years old! I hated doing anything at that age that was a chore. The second oldest helped me wash down all the walls and the two youngest ran around saying random things and yelling “look!” and then would throw things. But what can you expect? It was hilarious!! Overall today was a pretty productive day considering it started so late. We scrubbed all the living room walls, Laura tackled the kitchen and now you can see the counters and all the boys basically destroyed the bathroom and tomorrow they will fix it. Everyone did an amazing job at helping wherever it was needed. I love my group
Today I went to Northwest Harvest. I had heard of them since its main warehouse is in Kent, but I never really knew the importance of it. Their main job is to distribute food to different food banks around central Washington. When we arrived, we learned that for the first portion we would be picking apricots. It gave me a lot of insight to those who pick fruits in orchards as a living. We were only out there for 2 hours but I couldn’t imagine being out there for a full day. After that we returned to the warehouse, we sorted bread and cucumbers. It was a little boring at first but after we got going, it gave us time to learn more about each other. Over all, today was a good experience and I’m excited for the rest of the week.
- ▼ July (16)