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).