Shen Yang’s Alternative Spring Break Reflection: Day 2
When I first saw the Newman Home, I thought it looked just the same as the rest of the houses on the street: peaceful and quiet. If the house owner had not shared the experience of what the family had been through, I might find it hard to picture the damage of the disaster. The lady said due to government warnings she went door-to-door to tell people to evacuate before they closed the bridge. However, many people chose to stay since they thought it might be not that serious like last time. Later after we finished our work and came back to have a little meeting, our guest speaker mentioned the same thing that people did not want to evacuate. I felt sorry and sad when I first heard of this. A single choice could change your life forever, and it is really hard to be prepared for everything.
Moreover, the guest speaker estimated that the Rockaway community still struggled with and suffered from the consequences of the hurricane. Some people were lucky to have extended families to stay with, others ended up moving around constantly and some of them might not even be able to settle down. How should we help people who might never come back to the community? We not only needed to help rebuild the residents’ houses but also had to help those who were forced to move out reconnect with the community.
Overall, it was a full-packed experience. I learned valuable skills such as team-working and effective communication. I was mainly painting the walls with other three girls. We definitely built a strong relationship with the working progress. Sometimes we checked upon each other’s status, making sure we did not miss anything or what we could improve. We even had a little singing and dancing ‘break’ in order to cheer up and keep working hard. I love working with our dynamic ASB group. It makes me feel very supportive and full of energy. I could not wait to see the transformation made on the house when we completed.