January 16, 2008
So here’s the deal: Out of all the emergency supplies I brought with me, I used:
The first aid box:
On the very first day of demolition, within 10 minutes of arriving at the work site, I grabbed a piece of drywall to haul out to the curb and promptly impaled my left palm with a rusty nail. Since we had no running water, I took advantage of the torrential down-pouring of rain to rinse off the wound. I massaged hand sanitizer into my palm, dried it off with gauze, used antibiotic and a band aid.
Later that evening, around 11:00pm, just as I was about to drift off into peaceful oblivion, our GITC EMT demanded to see my hand. She said I did a great job, and that it looked good.
There was another diabetic on our demolition site who had a sudden low blood sugar one afternoon. Thankfully, one mini can of V8 juice and a few minutes rest brought him back to his energetic self. This was ok because- yeah - I carried two cans with me everywhere I went.
There was no roaming about for a midnight snack when I would wake up hungry at 1:00 am. The kitchen was closed after dinner, anyway. I simply grabbed a can of fruit and sat cross legged in the hall enjoying my treat by flashlight. Sometimes, the other late-night stumblers looked at me inquisitively. I always offered them canned fruit, too.
Torrential rain, high humidity, rust stains from the grommets in my work boots caused by wet drywall mud, rain, sweating…. This is why I needed extra socks. This is why some of my socks never made it home.
Extra work gloves:
1st travel day: October 6, 2007. Before we even hit the main departure point in Marshall, Michigan, one of the Chelsea volunteers mentioned that he had forgotten his work gloves. Problem solved!
I didn’t break one after all, but the extra one got put to good use as another volunteer and I moved through the house removing nails from the studs.
I did a lot of crying; on the departure date, on the ride down, at the “healing" ceremony, at the end of the trip, and for some reason every day around 2:30 pm. Coincidentally, that was about the time I would come up with a plan for staying behind the next day. I inspired others to cry as well. Good thing I always had packets of tissues on me.
At first, it was just used for plugging in cell phones to charge. On the second night, it began its daily ritual of supplying power to air mattress inflation devices. On the third work day, I was handed the trip video camera, and told to film whatever I wanted. Good thing I had somewhere to plug the camera, and the extra battery packs in to charge. On the fourth day the strip added powering up digital cameras to its list of uses.
800 #’s for all major airlines:
Not used! But, still, I think it was a really good idea. If nothing else, it gave me a good enough sense of security, that it made stepping into the complete unknown a little less frightening.
Posted by jaselin at January 16, 2008 12:04 PM