New Orleans, day four

Today we split into three crews on our service trip here in New Orleans. One crew, with eight people, went back to Blair Grocery, where they put in a border around a garden plot to keep out weeds. One crew, with four people, went to work with Green Light, installing free compact fluorescent bulbs in houses where the owners had requested them. The third crew, with four people, stayed here at the Center for Ethical Living to help out with some much-needed maintenance work here where we’re staying. I worked on this third crew.

The Center for Ethical Living is definitely understaffed, and basically all staff time goes towards supporting the volunteers who come to stay here. That means that the volunteers who stay here do most of the custodial work, so the first thing we did today was to give all three bathrooms a thorough scrubbing, scrub the floors, and so on. We moved a broken freezer down from the second floor to the curb for pick up, reorganized the linen storage, and did some other miscellaneous tasks the Center staff asked us to do. The four of us — Alexa, Sam, Jo, and I — worked our butts off. I was even sore at the end of the day.

Tonight after dinner, most of our crew went off to take the St. Charles Streetcar, which is apparently the oldest street railway in continuous operation in the United States; it began running in 1832, is now powered by electricity, but the cars were originally drawn by horses. They rode the line from its terminus at Claiborne and Carrollton to Camilla’s, a popular eating spot.

Next post in the trip diary.