The next day, Justin and Tupi drove across the river again. They saw some people at the destroyed mobile homes and Justin drove over and stopped the truck. As Justin exited, he looked at Tupi and Tupi was just sitting there in the truck.
"I have donated in the past, and writing checks and helping people makes me feel good, makes me feel that I'm contributing to society." Tupi said. "I had always dreamed of coming to a disaster area and help. And now, everything seems overwhelming. The rubble, the debris, the smell. Where do you even start? It is so easy to watch on TV and feel sad and want to do something, and end up only donating, but now that I'm here, I am lost."
A man walked over and handed Tupi an apple. "How can I help you? Did you lose your home too?"
Tupi looked up at the man. He was a big guy with a bandanna and a big white beard. "Um.. no... I don't live here, I'm here to help, but I don't know what to do."
"Hey look here." The man said. "Nobody is an expert. Every day is different, just come over and help. We are clearing some heavy stuff here and could sure need a hand!" The man smiled at Tupi and extended his hand out and Tupi grabbed it and stood up.
Tupi help pull up some fallen boards and panels and carried it away. It was quite hard work and requires a lot of strength and endurance. The sun came up and it was nice and warm and Tupi too off his jacket and took a short break. "You ok?" The man asked Tupi.
Tupi smiled and gave a thumbs up.
Everything seems overwhelming when you look at it, but when you start clearing things up, a board at a time, the task becomes much clearer, and progress can be felt. Tupi drank from his bottle of water and felt great. He took a deep breadth and continued to carry out buckets of mud and debris and place it in a pile so that the others can continue to work and look for things inside the destroyed mobile home.
Another van drove up and the drive came over and shared several sandwiches with everyone. "Thanks..." Tupi said as his stomach growled. He had forgotten to have lunch. Everyone around him seemed nice, sharing food and water.
Tupi walked over to the man with the bandanna. "Hi, my name is Tupi."
"I'm Steve." The man said. "Nice to meet you. Really appreciate that you can come to help."
"I was already in Florida." Tupi said. "Our place was not so affected, and I always wanted to help in a disaster, but never got a chance till now."
The group of people chatted for a bit and bonded. Tupi felt that he was now connected to something bigger and more important and it felt like a day well spent.