Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday in Biloxi

Sorry I haven't gotten to this in the past few days. We've been very busy. Wednesday was a day of service learning. We put on an appreciation luncheon for teachers at an elementary school in Gulfport. We also did projects around the school. In the afternoon we went to a Boys/Girls Club and helped with homework and art projects.

There was a crawfish boil on the beach in the evening, but crawfish gross me out so I stayed behind.

Thursday we were split again doing construction (I can now probably do drywall in my sleep) and working to save osprey. We also got a chance to speak with teachers who went through Katrina and how it is affecting children here.

They said it took about a year for some of the reaction to show. One teacher said since there were no parks for 3-4 year olds at the time many of them don't know how to skip or run... they didn't have any place to go. That helped us understand why saving parks is very important. Another teacher mentioned teens are living in crammed trailers with no quiet place to do homework, etc. One student he mentioned talked about burying the dead after the storm... not those killed in the storm... but those whose graves had been washed away.

We've heard many stories about people still waiting for their homes to be repaired to rebuild. Many are moving out of the FEMA trailers because they are not safe.

I hope we can all be ambassadors to remind people the work down here is not done. It will be interesting to hear from the other Xavier groups working in the area and in New Orleans.

Today we're splitting up again working to help feed the homeless, the volunteers and do work around Hands On. Tonight we cook dinner for the group. There is also a dance party and then we hit the road back to Cincinnati where I see it is in the 40s!!

We did get many texts on the game and Emma called her dad to get a play by play of the last minute. We also got a play by play of the last minute of the Duke game from Heide's dad.

This has been a very eye opening experience and has made me think about a lot of things... especially how fortunate many of us are to have a home, friends and family.

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