work crew at the Musicians Village, New Orleans
Photo: Megan Miller
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Doing Good Work, Learning Good Skills

It had never occurred to me before to spend a vacation doing service work, but it was one of the most rewarding trips of my life. Despite the abject filth, the tired muscles and the sweating from the eyeballs, I plan to return this fall. As frustrating as the experience can feel (waiting around for someone to teach you how to attach siding or share the only working drill, spending a week on one roof, or one wall or one window frame) I gained an appreciation for how hard the residents want their homes and lives back, and the extent of the work that still needs to be done to rebuild New Orleans. And I am now an excellent roofer!
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