Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Another day in New Orleans and another wealth of characters to be met. With the boys gone, the project manager, Mark, found it necessary to spend the morning with us to provide oversight and guidance. This is the same guy who advised us to put insulation in the first floor ceiling. Mark did apparently have a lot of confidence in us as he had planned for us to put up the ceiling drywall on the first floor. We had some experience with drywall from the previous day, but it was all from walls. Now to us, putting up drywall was putting up drywall. Little did we know the amount of woman power needed for ceiling drywall.
As it turned out all seven of us females, plus one man, were needed for the ceiling. It took three people on ladders, two brace supporters and three lifters to put up one standard sheet of drywall. Oh, and a lot of coordination. Thanks to the insulation we had installed from the previous day, the three people on ladders were more than sufficiently heated as well. The joint effort took around average, a half hour to put up just one sheet too. Since this was a small volunteer organization, supplies were scarce and we just had one power screwdriver to use between the three people on ladders. Not to mention we had seven girls who had absolutely no experience with any such construction work, and one very confused project manager. Mark frequently gave us the wrong orders on directions for the brace supporters, the wrong times to lift for the lifters, and took a great deal of time in figuring out just exactly where the board should slip into place while the people on ladders supported a great deal of weight. Fortunately no one was severely injured during such maneuvers.
When Mark finally left for the day, though it was very hard for him to part ways as he kept reminding us it was "silly to leave when surrounded by seven beautiful women," we made a mutual agreement to not put up ceiling for the rest of the day. Unfortunately though we had become so swift with putting up drywall on the walls that we couldn't go on without putting up more ceiling. As luck would have it though a small entourage had just showed up at the house to put in an A/C unit. This group of men were not just A/C specialists, they were full service construction workers. It didn't take long for the owner of this construction company, Mynor, to figure out we didn't know what we were doing and that we mad been misinformed on our technique. As it turned out, Mynor became our white knight that strolled onto General Taylor Street on a silver horse. He put up our ceiling for us, educated us on the power screwdriver, and provided us with a sleek slicer. Things got done and came together with Mynor in the house. By the end of the day, the kitchen was half completed and we actually felt like we had accomplished something as the homeowner, Della, had a huge smile on our face and told us how much better we were at what we did than the boys from Ohio.
Mynor himself also turned out to be impressed with our efforts. As we were about to jump back in the car and have Nigel lead us back to our hotel, Mynor approached us with an offering of gratitude. As a thanks for giving our time and efforts to Della and her house, he wanted to take us out for a real taste of New Orleans seafood. At seven O'clock that evening the five of us girls had a date with one charming Hondurian construction owner. The place was Deanie's Seafood, located in Lake Pontchatrain just outside of the city. True to his word, the seafood was fresh and delicious. A real New Orleans treat. Also, a treat to us from Mynor, who paid for all of our over $20 dinners. He would not hear of taking our money, and was quite sly about paying the bill before we even knew it got there. Yes, the dinner could have gone one of two ways. We had felt though that with strength in numbers, and after paying steep prices every night for dinner in the French Quarter, it didn't hurt to take a chance. Fortunately for us, chivalry is not completely dead. He provided wonderful conversation, telling us of his upbringing in Honduras and being neigbors with the President of Honduras, his travels in Canada, and starting up his own construction company in New Orleans. At the end of our lovely dinner we gave out some hugs and said our goodbyes. It was sad to know that we would probably never see him again. We knew we would never forget though the important lessons learned that day of how to actually use a power tool. Who knows, one day we may just travel down to Honduras and visit his resort he plans on opening in the near future. After all, we do owe him a dinner.