Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Guest Blog: Eileen in Biloxi, Mississippi

Hi, I'm Eileen, a sopohmore at Bonas. See my back-posts for the low-down on what i'm doing. Enjoy!

Day 2, Monday.

Once we crossed the railroad tracks toward the gulf and our site, they houses simply were not there. Whole patches of ground are just covered with debrie. Houses, torn apart. There is a road along the ocean, palm trees on one side. It looks sort of like Florida, but classier. Well, it would've been classier is things were there. The only things completely restored are the giant white-walled casinos.

We suited up as we got to the house. First, tyvek full-bodied jumpsuits, from hood to foot. Next, respirators to filter out the mold spores, pollution, and dust. Goggles to keep all the shit out of out eyes, which didn't help in the end. Hammer, prybar, wire brushes, shovels, brooms check.
The house was terrible. The whole neighborhood was demolished. The house we worked out was completely stripped down the studs. We had to go in and scrub the wood, get rid of all the black mold that could cause respiratory problems when they start to rebuild. The foundation was gone, so the floors were crooked and unstable. Cinder blocks held up the whole house.

All sorts of stuff was still in the front yard. The hurricane hit 7 months ago, and still yards were trashed. People wrote thier new addresses in spraypaint on thier houses so people can find them. Most businesses are shut down, espcecially the local ones. Grass is gone. Apparently, near the shore, water rose in 20 foot swells, completely covering most of the buldings withing 1000 feet of the water.

I worked with six other kids. I felt really bad, because my throat kept closing up. My eyes were really really irritated, because the wholehouse was filled with kicked-up dust. I struggled, but I did ok.

For lunch, we went to The Point. Th ocean is really pretty down here, looks like New Jersey beaches. While eating, we overlooked the water, and they had a bridge. It had folded in on itself, tons and tons of concrete, like a deck of cards. Incredible.

I must fly, thing are sort of looking up. I changed tents, a nice girl offered to share her air mattress with me. And, being by the ocean made me feel better, it reminded me of home. It'll be ok.

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