Hopes on the Way – Mission 10 – May 9th through 16, New Orleans
By: Deacon Ron Morowczynski, Trip Leader
The team for the tenth trip to New Orleans gathers early in the morning. Volunteers: Karl Krizka, Jim Banas, Marty Fredrick, Jim Flynn, Ray Gavin, Eric Hann, Ruth Kroll, Mary Jo Kienzie, Angel Zamundio, Ron Morowczynski, Rich Werner, Rich Dougherty, Brian Shamie, Joe Glista.
Saturday May 9th 2009
- After Deacon Sal led team 10 in prayer for a successful trip, 3 vans were loaded with Hope and departed the Carmelite Center in Darien at 8:15AM. Destination – New Orleans- 961 miles away.
- Teams pulled into Illinois State rest stop at 10AM (traveled 100 miles) to take a quick break and change drivers.
- Traveled another 140 miles and stopped around 12:30 in Salem, Illinois, to gas up and get something to eat for lunch. Also changed drivers. (note: Boomtown was still about another 1 1/2hrs away, too far to wait to get lunch) Salem had all the fast food places in ONE AREA which everyone liked.
- Weather turned nasty …heavy down pour of rain..had to slow down...
- Stopped in Cairo, Illinois, (rest area) to change drivers 3:30pm traveled 365 miles
- Arrived at Drury Hotel in Horn Lake, MS, at 6PM. Made it in time for HAPPY HOUR !!
- 7PM we all went to dinner across the street to Applebee’s
Sunday May 10th (Mothers Day)
- Team went to 7AM Mass at St. Paul’s Church. The priest welcomed us by saying, “It’s good to see you all again, you ALWAYS stop in on your way down”! A few people in the church came up and wished us well! Then went back to Drury Hotel to have breakfast. Back on the road by 9AM…Rain…Rain… Rain… Lots of rain on this leg of the trip.
- Hit Jackson Mississippi at 11:50AM…rain stopped.
- ETA to Rose Manor was 3:30PM…. And we arrived right on the dot.
- Note: Saturday drive 9 hours, Sunday drive 6.5 hours
- Assigned rooms. Ruthy and Mary Joe made dinner…Chile & Hot dogs..Good…plenty to eat.
- Later Rich Werner and I walked over to the Carmelite School and met with Sister Angele and later on took a walk around the neighborhood.
Monday May 11th.
- Breakfast was between 7:15 & 7:30AM Ruby & Peter rolled out the red carpet for us. Eggs/Pancakes…. Quite a spread.
- Team reported to designated location by 8:30AM for orientation, only to find out that we were not on their list (United Methodist) and that we needed to report to another location. Thank Jesus for GPS’s. By 9:45 we found the place where we should be, I talked to the coordinator and she assigned our two teams to two locations - about 4 miles apart - only about 20 minutes from Rose Manor.
- Rich Werner took charge of “Bravo” team and I led “Alpha” team. We went separately to 2 homes, each with different needs. Supplies and tools were all there – no need to get anything from the Carmelite work shop. There we joined other groups working on the homes. The temperature outside was a cool 90+ degrees.
- Worksites: Alpha Team, 7765 Downman; Bravo Team, 8058 Gus Street.
We did it all mudding/sanding /applying texture coating/ tiling /outside window & door trim, etc. We stopped work around 4PM
- Ruth & Mary Jo made a great dinner. After dinner Rich & I took a few of the team members around the neighborhood to see the homes that still have not been repaired. We also stopped by the school.
- That evening some of the members decided to explore the city on their own.
Tuesday May 12th.
- Tuesday repeat of Monday. It was HOT. Some said that the temperature inside the house reached 100 degrees!
- All volunteers gathered at a central spot at 9:30AM for a celebration of rededicating one of the 12 homes they were rehabbing. News media was there along with a Jazz Band. Check us out.. Everyone wearing “purple shirts”.
- Returned to our work sites by 10:30. Put back on our Red Shirts!
- Wednesday evening was a volunteer dinner. After all the speeches we ate about 8PM.
Thursday May 14th.
- Last full day of work: lots yet to do.
- In the evening Ruby & Peter would take us across town to her brothers Restaurant, “China Doll” for dinner. We left for dinner around 6PM.
- But after work 4:30 and before dinner, the Team (alpha team) conned me into us going on a quick tour of the “lower 9th ward”.
They want to see for themselves, -- Ground 0. While I was hesitant in allowing this because of our tight schedule I felt that I owed it to them to see this.
- Later that evening dinner was Five Stars, plus, we celebrated Brian’s birthday. I had Ruth go out and get a card and birthday cake!
Friday May 15th.
- Can’t believe the week went by so fast.
- Reluctantly Alpha and Bravo teams left the worksites by 11:30 AM
- Packed, in our Vans, we were on the road from Rose Manor by 12:30!
- Arrived in Horn Lake, Drury Hotel at 6:30PMm and went across the street to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. I think everyone had a good meal! That night we all tanked up our vans for an early start in the morning.
Saturday May 16th.
- After breakfast at Drury, we were on the road by 8AM.
- Stopped in Effingham for lunch…again a lot of good places to eat.
- Arrived back home at 6:15PM
- MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. All back home safe and sound. Thank you Jesus.
Ron thanks the members of the board for allowing him the opportunity to be a part of this mission. Church World Service has set up a web site to monitor the progress of the 12 homes they are working on in the Little Wood area. You can view our homes on: Gus Street and Downman by going to http://neighborhoodneworleans.org. The last thing their project leader said to me before we left is that they would welcome us back with open arms.