Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Guest Student: Eileen Cotter

Hey all!

I'm Eileen Cotter, a sophomore Mass Communications/Journalism major at Bonas. I originally am from Massachusetts, about an hour south of Boston. I've been down here in Biloxi, Mississippi for a couple days, working on everything from mold removal to walking dogs. I keep my own blog at a different site that i've been updating everyday, and Jim asked me to share my expieriences here too.

It's very informal, but I thought some of you might appreicate what's going on from a student's point of view.

Have any questions or comments, e-mail me at cotterep@sbu.edu, i'll be hooked up to my own computer all week.

DAY 1, Sunday.

After a dinner of fried shrimp and 'slaw from Popeye's with Chantal and Jeff, we started on the last leg of the trip. About an hour from the site, I began to see the blue roofs. Every other house or so has giant blue tarps on thier destroyed and damagaed houses in the neighborhoods. You can see it from the straight roads. the trees are tall and straight, and the closer we got to the gulf the more trees were snapped in half, bent over. More and more.

Upon arrival, this is what came in sight first. Enter a large wharehouse house with temporary white walls. Crude tables and even cruder seats scatter the main concrete floor. Walking outback, heavy metal music in the air. A bunch of men have gathered on a black leveltop thing for a truck. We come in, and they start to jeer, watch out for the alligators in impossibly thick southern drawls. I'm sure it was all in jest- they know how to get the newcomers all riled up! The tents are military-style, spraypainted with names and graffiti. Cruse makeshift things out of large pieces of lumber scattered everywhere, skinny wooden crate walkways. It looks just like the scene in Forrest Gump when they all arrive in Veitnam for the first time. Mess hall line for food, with some sort of rice thing made is huge vats.

I'm sharing a small tent with two other girls. And all i've learned so far is to stay away from the three-legged dog.

I got on mold removal assignment tomorrow. I have to wear an anti-toxin suit thing. I really don't know if my nerves can take this right now, at all. I want to help so badly, I want to sacrifice my time, but this is going to be extrmemely difficult. I left a lot back at school and back home, so being here will be a challenge.

I'm going to mass across the street, a local hispanic one that a bunch of us are going to check out. I really need it.

At least the weather is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful, sunny and warm. The sunset was breathtaking. And hopefully I get to see the gulf tomorrow.

And, Sonic drive-ins to exist. I saw one with my own eyes.

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