USVI All Hands Volunteering – Day 4

December 8 – There were just a few hours of cleaning and QC work to do on my first work site. It felt good to see the progress we’d made.

The day before I remembered thinking to myself “this has been hard, but thankfully all the stuff was being moved down the steep hill rather than up one.” Those words would haunt me today as we headed toward the next site and were told it was going to be nearly 60 stairs from the street down to the house. And yes, everything had to be brought up to the road to be put in a dumpster.


The roof of the house from the top of the stairs.

I was having some doubts about me physically being able to make it through the day. I breathed an odd sigh of relief when we were told the team would need to split in two groups. One group would be in Tyvex bagging items in the house then bringing them to the patio. The other group would haul items from the patio up the stairs. Bring on the Tyvex!


We made quick work of the items in the back bathroom which seemed to be of the most concern. From there we moved into the connected bedroom and started clearing a closet. My bagging partner squealed and proclaimed “RAT!”. It was hiding amongst the bags on the shelf and apparently had been unsettled by our cleaning. We paused for a moment then came to the conclusion it had to go so we could continue our work. We grabbed a broom and “coaxed” it down from the shelf. It scurried across the floor, then across my boots, on the way to the far corner. I squealed this time! The door to the now non-existent deck was opened so we again encouraged it to go find a more suitable place to hang out. We had a good laugh and went back to work.


The view from the master bedroom of this house was stunning.

Knowing the next day was going to require moving a refrigerator up the stairs to the street the team leaders had gathered in the kitchen to plan. The refrigerator was snuggly tucked into the cabinets and had to be pulled away from the wall to get a better idea of the task before them. In the process someone had grabbed a hold of the door in such a way it pulled open. There was more squealing. Ok, it wasn’t so much squealing as scolding. Rule #2 Do not open the fridge! It may seem like an odd rule, but if you think about the fact power has been off since the hurricane(s) hit and its hot/humid as hell I’m sure you can imagine the nasty stuff festering inside.

We wrapped up  work day feeling pretty productive. Equipment was decontaminated and hauled back up the stairs. Jeremy and I took a few moments to pose with the “My red hair gives me superpowers” t-shirt.


Here are a few other random pictures taken near the job site.



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