People are just starting to trickle back to base from a lovely BBQ laid on for us by two local families who wanted to thank everyone for their hard work. Mark and Pam brought out a five gallon bucket of steak and Isaac his Lindsay brought five cases of beer – needless to say the volunteers felt thoroughly appreciated! It was the perfect occasion to kick back and unwind, get to know each other and interact with the local community in a less emotional setting. Lest we forget why we all came to Minot, the get-together was held in the shell of Mark and Pam’s home, which volunteers had stripped back to the studs over the past week.
The fact that this small part of the work needed to make the home inhabitable again was done without cost to the homeowners is the silver lining that keeps you from getting depressed constantly working in disaster zones. The generosity and openness and friendliness of the people you meet, some of whom have just lost everything, is what keeps you doing it.