Friday, April 25, 2008


Yes and odd name and place since I'm soposed to be in the eastern region. My time with AmeriCorps has come to an end. There have been some changes and incidents related to my moms brain tumor and the surgery to remove it so I have decided to return home to be closer. I am sad to say goodbye to my NCCC team but now I believe the best thing for me to do is to be closer to family and live here in Denver. Thank you all for reading and sending me e-mails. I had a great time in Maryland and Mississippi and was fortunate enough to meet some wonderful people and make some new friends. Hope you are all doing well. If anyone is in the Denver area feel free to give me a call 720-323-1319.
Also for those that don't have facebook and want to see some pictures of Lisa in Uganda they are at the top right hand of this page.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


This week we started rehab on houses. These are houses that had flood damage but are still standing and strong enough to be used again. They just have problems with mold in the walls and under the floors. On Monday I was assigned the task of taking down the walls of a bathroom. At first I was using a hammer and other tools. I quickly realized it would be much more fun if I used my hands and feet. It was a great Kung-Fu exercise tearing apart the bathroom with my hands and feet. We also take out tile and ceilings. I realized the value of protective gear (i.e. helmets, eye wear, and masks) when removing a ceiling, especially when I pulled down on one and half of it fell down at once.
The bugs here are probably not as big as Lisa has in Africa but they are fairly large and hungry. I'm joined in the shower by cockroaches sometimes and and meet other large mystery bugs throughout the course of my day. I'm also bitten all day by gnats. They are just as bad if not worse than mosquitoes. They are very smart too. They know when I'm tapped out and wait for all my bites to heal before digging in on me again.
We got to meet a family of pit bulls the other day. At first we were worried since they're pit bulls but the introduction was made easier since we met the puppy first. The two adult dogs were chained up just to be safe with us but they were just as nice and playful as the puppy. There are alot of pit bulls down here too. People seem to really like this kind of dog. Many houses we work on either have a pit bull or their neighbor has a pit bull in their yards.
As of Thursday Lisa should be an official Peace Corps Volunteer (which means shes past her probation period as to how well she'll do in the country). This is very exciting to hear because now if she were to get sick (which hopefully she wont have to worry about) she will be treated in the country and not just sent home.
Next weekend we may be headed to New Orleans for V-Day to volunteer at the event. V-Day is a festival for the Vagina Monolouges and for awareness and prevention of violence towards women. It sounds like lots of fun. Hopefully by next weekend too we should know where our next project is! This will make things much easier for buying a plane ticket home for memorial day.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Volunteers everywhere

I am surrounded by volunteers now in the stadium. Each week a new group comes to work for Habitat for Humanity. The groups can be college age, High School, church groups, or other Habitat organizations from around the country. Arrgh...they always take to TV and the pool table..... then again I shouldn't complain, I didn't join Americorps to play pool and watch TV.
This week has been good. We have been outside all week doing construction on a house. On Tuesday we put up all the exterior and interior walls. The rest of the week we did all the siding for a small shed in the back of the house (which is much more complicated than it seems). Today we started our spring break. Since I'm saving money I decided to work for one more day and got to help re-build an outside stair case. Stairs are actually very important because the cities on the coast mandate that new houses must be a certain height above sea level. Our particular house is almost five feet above the ground on concrete blocks.
The South has a very interesting culture so far. Despite the confederate flags and the warnings of dangerous neighborhoods, most people I've met while walking or running around town have been very nice and happy to say hello and talk on the street.
Well off to the fun of being thrifty on spring break (i.e. instead of spending money traveling, walking down two blocks and laying on the beach).

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Ahhh finally here in Biloxi Mississippi. East Biloxi to be exact. To be even more exact we are less than a mile from the beaches (both to the north and to the south of us). Unfortionatly there is no swimming in the water due to the oil, chemicals, and debris that got dumped into the ocean durring the hurricane. The town has been a little cooler (temperature) than we originally thought (there was snow in northern Alabama on the ride down) but it is starting to reach a comfortable 70 degrees (Horray!).
Working for Habitat for Humatity is a little different than we thought. We originally planned to be building houses all day but that has yet to happen. Instead our primary job is to load a warehouse in preperation for Jimmy and Roslyn Carter to bring their group down to build. Mostly our job is setting up for a large publicity stunt to benefit Habitat. It is only the third day of work though so I'm not too worried, I'm sure we will be doing plenty of exciting things over the next six weeks. Even yesterday we helped dig and sod around a drainage ditch with a very funny and energitic southerner.
Most people around the community are very nice. Whenever we go out to the beach or I go for a run I end up talking to somone or at least saying hello to several people on the street.
The area is pretty much rebuilt but there are still signs of the damage from Katrina and Rita. For example the ruins of the old Route 90 bridge is still sticking out of the watter. Its amazing how powerful the hurricane is. Well off to the hospital to go and replace our team leader who is watching over a sick team member.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bombs away

The NCCC campus used to be located at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds (Aberdeen is a town 5-7 miles south of Perry Point). For several weeks I was wishing we were still there since Aberdeen has the closest weekend running train. At least until yesterday when I was reminded that the Proving Grounds are for proving bombs for the US military. The bombs were so powerful yesterday that our houses (seven miles away from the impact site) shook. One was so powerful that I could feel the energy of the shock wave. It was as if we had several mini earthquakes.
Friday morning we finally leave for our trip. We'll spend the night in Knoxville and arrive in Biloxi on Saturday evening. Before that we must pack, inspect our extra utility van, and give a presentation to the NCCC leadership about our project (what we're doing, goals, info about the town, and my plan for world think I'm kidding but I'm not, well maybe I am... world conquest would be difficult anyways).

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Induction is coming tomarrow....and its about time. I will be officially off of my probation period and be a full corps member. If I have to sing anymore songs or do any energizers (summer camp songs or activities involving screaming) I might lose my mind! Then again I can't complain too much since all of my living expenses are covered. Besides that there isn't too much goin on here. I did fall in a river the other day though, that was kind of fun. At least until the hypothermia set in. We were in Baltimore checking the water quality of the storm drains and wading through a river. I decided it would be fun to play in the mud (which had a quicksand effect) and I fell over into the cold water...oops. It was funny and no equiptment was damaged.
I leave for Biloxi Mississippi on the 7th of March. I am quite excited for this because we will be two blocks from the beach and the weather will be in the 70s and 80s!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I swear this blog will be about me somday. Training is really boring and not too much happens, for example I sat around all presidents day weekend and finished the book the Borne Identity while being sick (the book wasn't bad....much different than the movie, more in depth).
Anyways I was awoken at five forty five this morning by a call from Uganda! It was Lisa! She has a cell phone and has just moved in with her homestay family. They seem like really good people so far which is always good to her. Most importantly though she is enjoying herself.
I do have some news, today I will be working at food bank in Havre De Grace (the town across the river to me) it sounds fun and like it might be more meaningful than our last service project. (it was trail maintenence but it seemed futile and almost destructive since we were cutting down perfectly healthy live trees).