Day Three by Joel Parker

Today was the first one here where there was a definite chill in the air in the morning. Of course I still wore shorts (but no one else did...) and soon it was comfortably warm. We can really see some significant progress after three days of effort. Many of us have paired off into working teams; I'm with the "Joel Team", consisting of me and Joel Poskus. Joel Poskus loves to eat, so I carefully label my lunch each day as "Old Joel" - knowing that the other Joel won't want to be saddled with that title and will thus not consume my lunch....

Many of the areas we pass through on the way to the site look fairly normal, as does most of the area immediately adjacent to our worksite. You almost lose sight of the extent of the devastation, until you come upon a reminder of how severe the damage really was. Today's reminder was particularly dramatic, as we drove back to Camp Victor by way of the shoreline for the first time. Our site is several miles inland, and was relatively unscathed. As we drove closer to the shore, we began to see more and more damaged trees and abandoned concrete slabs where houses once stood. Soon it seemed as if the scoured-clean house slabs were the norm, with a sprinkling of newly-rebuilt homes among them. It was very clear that the impact of the storm was extremely severe and devastating.

We are all very tired and sore by the end of each workday, however, seeing how great the needs are it is actually a very good feeling. Knowing that we are, in our own small way, making a difference and helping to restore a sense of normalcy is very gratifying. I thank God for the opportunity and am very happy that I was able to contribute and participate in this great adventure. One more day of work - I'm looking forward to it!

Blessings to all.....