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Day 3: Devlin S-AFE Service Trip in New Orleans

Senior Jonathan Raude

Senior Jonathan Raude

Jan. 8, 2014

Twenty two Boston College student-athletes traveled to New Orleans for the fifth annual Devlin S-AFE Service Immersion Trip to rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Each day, a student-athlete will blog about the experience.

Day Three: Jonathan Raude, men's tennis

Today was jam-packed from the moment we woke up until the moment the lights were out. We started our day off by waking up nice and early at 6 a.m. The room I'm sleeping in has eight guys, including myself, so it's a rough time in the morning as everyone is scrambling in a small room to get ready for the day ahead. Once we got ready, we headed downstairs to the dining area where we had an awesome home-cooked breakfast. On the menu today was scrambled eggs, sausage patties, oatmeal and some phenomenal crispy corn biscuits. I have to admit that those were the best biscuits I've ever tried, and I'm hoping they will be offered for breakfast at least once more. Breakfast finished up at 6:40 a.m. and we headed out for the second day of construction work on the house we were assigned to.

The group that I'm a member of is the "Demolition" group and our task is to clean out the house and get it in proper shape to be restored to form. Today we did molding, which meant using a soft brush to scrub away the mold buildup from walls and wood trim. This definitely wasn't easy as there was a ton of mold all around the house, as it hadn't been touched in over eight years. The molding process was long and tedious but we worked closely together as a group to finish up the job by noon.

Following the completion of our job, we headed to Lake Castle Academy, a middle school in Madisonville, La. We spoke to about 100 students, grades sixth through eighth, about the importance of education, the sport we play, athletics and Boston College. The kids were truly great; they had plenty to ask us and we were more than glad to share as much as we could with them. I only wish that I could have been in their seats at that age hearing a group of student-athletes from one of the best universities in the nation share information.

After wrapping up, we were treated to a great lunch by the headmaster of the school, Mr. Butera [whose son, Blake, is a member of the baseball team]. I had a fried oyster po'boy and gumbo, both of which were absolutely delicious and true Louisiana classics. While the group was having lunch, one of the pitchers on the baseball team - Jeff Burke - threw a pitching session with his teammate - Stephen Sauter - who's a catcher. That was cool to see and just exemplifies the work ethic BC Athletes have.

At about 3:30 p.m., we made our way back to the church for some down time. The ride back was about an hour long and involved going through the longest bridge in the U.S. It was really cool to see and a unique thing that I could tell people I experienced. After getting back, I got my tennis gear ready so I could play in the evening with my friend who is on the Tulane men's tennis team. Even though I was exhausted by the time we got out on court, it was all worth it because I got a solid and much-needed hit in. With less than three weeks left until the start of our season, every day is crucial to getting ready.

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