Sandra Yang Alternative Spring Break 2019

The house we focused on today who was greatly attached to his home for many years. In spite of the many years past since Superstorm Sandy, when we arrived, we found that the house was in the intermediate stages of renovation. With full knowledge of the extra time, energy, and lack of security in the face of future storms, the homeowner willingly stayed loyal to their home. This was because a major part of their identity is attached in that location and surrounding community. Moving away basically would mean he would lose a large part of themselves.

We split into three group to tackle the construction work. One group was in charge of painting and moving doors, another group was tasked with sawing drywall and tiles, and the other group focused on placing the floorboards. The work was not as difficult as I expected to be. It was simple and repetitive, so I caught on fast. I would imagine the physical labor was not a major worry of many homeowners when they had finances to stress about. I hope that in the next five years, our accomplishments will remain. If every part of the house is installed correctly then the homeowner will be able to live comfortably for several years. However, there is still the possibility of mistakes because we aren’t professional construction workers.

Natural disasters exasperate economic issues. Witnessing the devastation first hand like we did today is something everyone should do. It helps establish a stronger ability to empathize which would help solve equity issues. If the people with economic and political power were able to understand the issues of people struggling, there would be greater equality. I wouldn’t deny my neighbors recovery money just because they don’t have as high of an income as my family. To me they are equally as deserving.

Who are we to decide other people’s fate?