Justin Hailer is a junior at Royal Oak High School. This is his first disaster relief trip.

Mary Sier is also a junior at Royal Oak High School, and this is her first relief trip.

Today I was at work site one, working on tearing down a house that was damaged in the tornado.  We were mainly working on breaking the brick walls of the house, and getting the bricks hauled down to the road.  It was much nicer today, although it did rain for a little bit. The highlight of the day by far was when Michael Sust tripped while using the wheelbarrow, fell into a muddy ditch, and rolled when he hit the ground.  He was ok.  

Hopefully we will at least be done with the bricks by tomorrow, as we got over half of them broken up and hauled off today.  After that the only thing left will be the wood supports of the house.  Once we get those down we will have stripped the whole house down to just the foundation, which was not an easy job.  I do feel like we will get it done tomorrow, as long as Michael learns how to use a wheelbarrow.


Today was quite an adventure. Wheel barrows have been an essential part of our worksite since we are working on cleaning up a property, and in the past other than the hazardous party game in which you hold someone up by their legs and they attempt to walk on their hands without breaking their nose, I have never operated a wheel barrow. I can honestly say when someone finally told me that I had to take one down to the pile we had near the road, I freaked out a bit. It’s been a rainy couple of days and the mud was pretty ridiculous. But my trip down was successful, and I, maybe, sort of, fell in love with wheel barrows?? It wasn’t just the thrill of trying to not fall on your face, but the arms and legs workout was pretty legit.

We were hoping on finishing up our worksite today, but behind the property there’s quite a bit of trees that have fallen and needed to be chopped up and brought out to the curb. So most of our day was spent hauling tree branches up and down the steep, yet muddy hill. However, this ended up being a lot more fun than it seemed. Mixing teenagers with mud can end up being perfect entertainment for an otherwise pretty boring job.

The day would not be complete without a few classic accident prone Mary moments. I managed to get through the first half the day practically accident-free, only getting stuck in the mud and tripping a few times. But not even 10 minutes after finishing our lunch break, I was trying to clean up some debris that surrounded this large hole. I noticed a friend was posing for a picture on top of a pile of clay that sat inside the hole. As any teenager would do, I tried to photo bomb them; however in the process my foot managed to slip into the hole slightly causing me to completely face plant. And that was not the last time I fell in a hole today.