No More Bucket Showers


New Orleans — Taking a “shower” in a five-gallon paint bucket, making dinner on a two-burner camp stove using propane gas and going without clean clothes for several days at a time would hardly inspire most people stay in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Dewey T. Sampson and his family returned to the city after seven years living in Belgium and North Africa to be near his wife’s family. Why not just pack up and go back?

The southern-born trumpet player wants his son to get to know his side of the family, many of whom live in Louisiana. And thanks to the new construction going up in the Ninth Ward — courtesy of Habitat for Humanity, Crossroads Baptist Church and thousands of volunteers from all over the United States and beyond, Sampson now has an opportunity to own his own home.

Sampson is working along side the Cincinnati Katrina Collaboration volunteers to build his home. The house is painted in colors he chose, a bright yellow house with lime-green trim — yellow for the brightness of the sun and a new day, and green for the new growth: the things New Orleans needs, according to Sampson.

In addition to painting, the YPs are roofing, framing, inventorying supplies and enjoying the clouds and rain that roll through in the afternoons after the heat and sun of the morning shift. Tonight is a bus tour of New Orleans and a crawfish boil. The sights, sounds and flavors of the city provide a context for how desperately these homes are needed.

— Margo Pierce

Originally uploaded by gflan_1999.

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