Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Relocated house


Here is a house that was lifted up by the flood and moved off its foundation blocks. It looks like it is in good condition, but most likely since it was moved it has structural damage and will have to be bulldozed.

Virgin Mary


Apparently this Mary statue much like the one in front of my Grandparents house weather the hurricane. As you can see behind her the church was completely picked up and moved off the foundation blocks. The church is gone, but Mary did not move. She lost her head. People have come up to her and lifted her up in amazement. She is movable, but miraculously made it through the 16 foot flood.

House on a tree

A house blown against a tree.

House gone


A house totally toppled over. They have their FEMA number and address on the board out front so they will receive help more easily.

Po-Boys


This was an old restaurant on one of the main roads. A trailer is slammed into the side of it. On a side note I did eat a shrimp Po-Boy in New Orleans when I was there.

Pearlington, MS

Hello Lovely, Lovely People!
Well I got back to base on Thursday evening and had the whole weekend off. Sorry for not updating this sooner, but I couldn't get to a computer until today.

Well, I have had one of those unforgetable experiences. The people of Pearlington, a very very small town, are left with nothing. Well I shouldn't say nothing, they have each other and many of them believe strongly in God. Many of their houses were totally destroyed. When the surge hit it created a 16 foot flood. Oh the stories I have heard. Some people were actually in their house during the flood and had to bust out through their roof with an axe. I can't even imagine. One man held onto his house for 12 hours saving his life and several others. One family was driving back home as the eye passed over and were taken off the road, got out of their car, water went from their ankles to their neck in seconds. The wife saved her husbands life 3 times from drowning. They jumped from tree to tree as the water got higher and higher. I just can't even imagine how scared I would be. Pearlington is full of some amazing people.

While I was there I basically worked in a distribution center for a month. Everyday donations came in and we unpacked them and put them on the shelf. We never really knew what was coming or at what time. So things got a bit chaotic at times. I worked 7 days a week, 7am-5pm and had meetings and exercise in the evenings. I actually ended having 2 days off, which was unexspected. One of the days we went to New Orleans for a short bit. The city was rather empty, but burbon street was up and running of course.

So after a month of using porty-johns, sweating my butt off, and running around trying to get people what they need I have been enjoying my weekend off. I think pearlington was a really great learning experience and I met some really wonderful people, residents and volunteers. I however do not wish to go to a disaster area for a while. The days were intense, I always felt like people were using me, trying to get as much as they can. This I can understand, when you have nothing, you want to get as much as you can to reastablish your home. At times it was just very overwhelming stocking shelves when people are constantly watching to see if you put something good out or watching someone cry and then tell them you can't give them a generator today, because you only have 8 and they are number 9. You feel like a jerk. It's not your fault, but you want to do more. I joked that I got better at fibbing while there, because sometimes you had to tell white lies to people when they ask you what came in, because you don't want one person getting 10 blankets and the next person getting none.
Our next project will be a little less intense and I am really looking forward to it. We leave on wednesday, tomorrow.

So anyway I am sorry I know I could say more about the experience, but I have a meeting soon.

Love you all,
Bekah
Christmas is coming!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fancy Pants

Hello lovely people,
Well tomorrow morning bright and early, well maybe not bright but early we head out to Mississippi. I am really excited, but also a bit nervous. I don't know how I will react to what I will be seeing. Our team is pretty pumped though. I know we will bring energy and tears to those who need our help. So today is a busy, busy day. This morning I did a 5K. Yep, Yep! I jogged the first mile and then walked/jogged the last two. I was pretty excited about my endurance. I really tried to push myself. My cheeks are still pink. So today we have last minute meetings, picture, packing, induction, room inspections, and our team is going out to dinner.

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that sent me an email, letter or called me. I really appreciate your support. Since I won't be updating this page for about three weeks, I wish you all the best. I won't really have phone service either so if you want to contact me, the best way is to write a letter, which I will recieve once a week. My address will stay the same. My mail will also take a week to get out, so sorry if I take a long time to respond.
I hope you all enjoy the fall!
Oh yeah, I am wearing my fancy pants today, my formals and also a few nights ago a couple of us girls bought some fancy underwear and we are secretly wearing them today for induction. He He!
I will miss you all!
Till we blog again my dear friends and family.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Unspoken bathroom rule!

Hello friends,
Well today we went to James Island Park for a fun day of games and a grill out, which took us all by big surprise. We had not forseen such a fun day. Our team actually ended up winning the tug of war against 6 other teams. It was ultra exciting. We hadn't really won anything yet, so it was a nice little boost. The rest of the week we have trainings and one day project on thursday. Oh, so about this bathroom rule. Well I thought it was rather funny, but for the past few weeks without ever saying one word about it, my roommate and I have been enforcing the "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down" rule. So basically I end up flushing maybe on the third use. I just think it is so funny that neither of us ever said anything and yet, if doesn't bother either of us. Oh, my roommate is sick by the way, so please pray for her to get better. She has a rather nasty cough.

I went to the beach twice this weekend and had a marvelous time floating in the waves and laying in the sun. This coming weekend may be our last chance to do so for a while if we get sent somewhere.

I have been having a pretty good day and had a great weekend.

Well I better jet, supper is calling me.

Oh and dad go blue!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Black Buggers

Hello lovely people,
Well for the past two days my team has been working at a Habitat for Humanity site on John's Island about 45 minutes from base. We were assigned one house and we are slowing but surely drywalling it. Yes! Yesterday we learned how to do such a crazy thing and today we were rocking it out. I was measuring, cutting, rasping, holding up the pieces against that wall and screwing them in. It's a sweaty event. Yesterday I felt a little lacking, because I had never done it before and so it was a definite challenge, well none of us had, so we were kind of all falling over each other. But today we were on top of it. I was so pumped up near that end because it became so much easier. I think the biggest challenge of the day was learning to trust one of my teammates. She is rather young and constantly says she can't do anything. She has a bad attitude sometimes, she doesn't do her best and she really doesn't know how to do a lot of stuff. She has had a very sheltered life and so it is really frustrate for us to have to constantly take her by the hand and show her over and over again how to do something, while staying calm and praising her. She needs encouragement, but when you are holding up a very heavy piece of sheet rock while she attempts to screw it to the wall, but keeps dropping the screws, says she can't do and then giggles about it, it gets really difficult to be understanding. I have a rather short fuse when I am under pressure and I am just afraid that sometime in the near future I am going to snap and say something awful. She just has low self-esteem and is away from home for the first time and is also boy crazy. A couple of us on the team feel like mothers, because we are constantly giving her advice on all kinds of situations.

Anyway today was a great day. It started raining and lighting during out morning workout, so we had to go inside and do some muscle training instead of taking a 20 minute run, darn! It rained all day until about 2pm. I had to drive to the habitat site today and here when it rains the streets get flooded, so I had to avoid hydroplaning the whole time. It was challenging, but we got there safe and actually on time too. Tomorrow we finish up with Habitat, which will be sad because I am becoming kind of attached to our little house. The rooms are actually starting to look like rooms.

Last sunday I went to the beach again and it was amazing. I just floated in the waves. It felt like bath water. So I have been to all three major beaches in the area now and I think 'Isle of Palms' is my favorite. It is wavy, but doesn't have a huge undercurrent and the sand is soft, not dirty like at Folly beach.

Well my lovely friends I don't have much else to say. I am having a good week. I am enjoying the cooler weather today (70's) and I hope you are all healthy and happy. What more can we ask for. This program is really putting things in perspective for me. I am in love with it. I am thinking about staying on for another year. It is so amazing to see how people can come together and learn to enjoy living in dorms again, getting up at 5:30am to work out, working all day in the sun and humidity, and learning how to do things for the good of the team and not just yourself, all for a shower, clean bed and meal. There is a lot of great support here and no accomplishment, big or small goes unappreciated.

Oh and about the black buggers, well when you work hard you know it when you blow your nose.
Love to all,
B-

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A loss in the group

Hey everyone,
Well today is a sad day. We lost one of our team members today, because he got kicked out for excessive tardiness. They don't mess around here with that kind of stuff. It is just really hard, because for the last two weeks we have been trying to fit together and work as a team and now that we have lost one of the members, we have a huge hole to fill. We won't be getting another member so we are down to 9. As you can imagine it will make things a little harder. Sorry if this is repetative, but I am a little down and tired.

Had first stage of disaster relief training today, which basically consisted of a really cheesy video hosted by william baldwin about 15 years ago.

I haven't been able to use my shower, toliet, or sink since monday because the tub kept being overflowed by other peoples showers. So I have a temporary room in the other dorm, which means whenever I need to use the toliet, shower or sink I have to walk over to the other dorm. It isn't so bad, but I am just hoping that they will either fix our bathroom this weekend or let us move into the other room.

Otherwise I am doing really good. I know this post sounds really depressing, but I think these last two weeks have been really exciting and I look forward to whatever comes next. I have already been doing things I never dreamed I would do or enjoy doing. Getting up at 5:30am three times a week for workouts has become more of a routine and it energizes me for the day. I am learning my weaknesses and strengths and learning how to get along with people I would not normally be friends with.

I feel like I can accomplish so much more. Oh, also I found out today that the entire corps will in rotation being going down to help out with disaster relief along the coast before christmas. I can't wait for this opportunity. It was one of my main reasons for joining.

Yesterday I went to a farm house for alternative kids. We did some painting and cleaned out a barn. It was really awesome to see such a place. It was located on a beautiful piece of swampy land. It had a pond with alligators and snakes, of which I saw both, but it didn't reall scare me that much. Yes dad, they did finally teach us about the 4 different kinds of snakes in SC and how to deal with a bite. So anyway we did the work and got to see the kids in school and at recess. It was a great facility to help kids. They get to do chores, have equestrian therapy -play with horses, school and live on an awesome spot.

Tomorrow I have an intro to my three day project, which will take place in the coming two weeks. We will be doing some habitat for humanity work. I think doing drywalling or painting. Then saturday I get off, but I am doing some volunteering at a red cross cancer house, I think like a hope house. They are having a party and we are setting up and taking it down. This will add to my independent service project hours that I have to do. You see I have to do 1700 regular hours with my team and then on top of that 80 independent hours for some other function, which I am resposible for.

So, I wish you all a great week.
Love B-

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ant Attack

Hey,
Today we did a low ropes course all day, which turned out to be a really good leadership team builder situation. So that was fun, but I am pretty tired from the heat and sun. Yesterday we did first aid and CPR training all day. Also I had an ant attack in my room from fire ants, nasty little things. I am doing good, but kind of tired today, so I will end here.
B-

Friday, September 16, 2005

TGIF

Hey everyone,
Well it was another intense day. I have my workout at 5:30-6:30am again, but this time it was long cardio, so we had to run for 40 minutes. Yeah, so I ended up running for a short while and then walking and running/jogging on and off. It doesn't matter if you can't keep up, just as long as you are trying. They don't yell at you or anything.

Then today we did our first day project. We went to St. George, SC and helped with a home depot challenge event. We ended up rebuilding 5 flowerbeds at an animal shelter for wild animals. They had the cutest little rabbits, they fit in my palm. So we got there at 9am and left around 3pm. It was deffinetly some intense labor, because of the heat. It was in the mid 90's today with a heat index of 105. It is really humid here. So now I am all grungy and really itching for a shower. It was a really great experience helping out as a large group. I can't wait to go on long projects and accomplish so much more.
Pretty tired tonight. It was a long week.
Thanks for all the mail everyone. I think I got 5 letters today, I haven't read them yet.
Oh, also at the site they gave up pizza, but we also had packed our lunches, so on the way back to the base we stopped by a homeless shelter and dropped off our lunches. That was a really great feeling, knowing that someone could benefit from what we did not eat.
Have a great weekend, I have CPR training tomorrow, but I get sunday off. Yippee!
I will update on monday.
B-