Friday, March 24, 2006

the Madness...

One might assume I'm not into basketball or any athletics, for that matter, but I am when it comes to March Madness for some reason. Maybe because I like choosing my brackets and then having someone to root for? I don't know...

Please notice that I'm typing in orange today. I'm also wearing orange. Though I wish it were for Illinois, I'm sporting it in celebration of the Longhorns' victory last night over West Virginia. What a crazy game!

Throughout that game, I couldn't help but sing the words "West Virginiaaa...." as in a Brad Paisley song to which I know no other words or melody. That's all. "West Virginiaaa...."

And seriously, I can't believe Duke and Gonzaga both lost! Are you kidding me? Talk about madness!!!

And on the Gonzaga note...this guy, Adam Morrison, is the least likely guy to ever look like a b-ball player. As my roommate said last night he needs to get rid of the trash 'stache. sick. And dude, it sucks that you lost, but you need to get up off the floor now.

That's all for now...we'll see how tonight's games go.

Monday, March 20, 2006

i will have you know 2, THREE

#1. I am NOT happy that there is a Blizzard Warning in effect for tonight and tomorrow for Logan County. Supposedly we are expected to get like 8 inches of snow. Need I make note that TODAY was supposed to be the first day of spring? Need I make note that I would still LOVE to move to Texas? I hate cold. hate it.

#2. As of 30 seconds ago, Tom Tanner has emailed all students, faculty, and staff to notify us that the administration has CANCELLED CLASSES and we are all advised to stay home tomorrow instead of coming to class or work. In all of Lynn Laughlin's tenure here, he has only seen this happen 2 times. I just asked him this: "how many times has this happened the day after the first day of spring?" Do I even need an answer? zero. Ridiculous. But I'll take a snow day from work anytime.

#3. I must tell you this: In our office bracket pool, I am currently tied for 3rd...actually 2nd. GT and Nancy are tied for first w/ 43 points, and I am in 2nd place w/ 42 points. Am I good or what? That's all.

Friday, March 17, 2006

more photos

(above) the line we worked every day for people to walk through and get food items, diapers, clothing, soaps, etc. for free.

(below) the top part of a gas station sideways on the ground.

(above) one of the 10 fire stations in St. Bernard Parish that were destroyed. Only one of them is usable and livable right now, and that's where all of their fire trucks are stored right now. They lost all of their fire trucks but 4 due to water, and FEMA has given them several new ones now, thankfully. These guys had some cool stories.

(below) Cars all under the overpass that were abandoned during the flood.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

see below

Here are some photos from Katrina damage in St. Bernard Parish, LA. Some of these photos I borrowed from the facebook pages of some of the students in our group b/c my pictures sucked. Nevertheless, take a look at some of what we saw last week...

(above) This house was moved off its foundation and almost into the street by the water.

(below) A typical street median filled with trash, various items, cars, boats, etc. strewn about.

(above) a Mustang pushed onto the house from the water...a common occurrence.

(below) another house moved by the water down the street.

(above) More cars on top of each other from the water.
(below) The Wal-Mart parking lot in which we worked all week in the yellow and white tent. Also, note where the 'W' is on the Wal-Mart building...that's how high the water was during the flood.

(above) The X that is seen on every residential building noting different things...the top is the date it was searched, on the left I believe is the initials of who searched it, and the bottom # is the number of people or animals found dead. I'm not sure what's supposed to be on the right.

(below) This is the lower 9th ward, which was section 8 housing, located right next to the levee that broke (you can somewhat see it). The water powerfully pushed right through this area and demolished practically the entire neighborhood. The whole area is supposed to be torn down I think.

Stay tuned for more pictures...I'll post a few more tomorrow.

For now, ponder these.

Monday, March 06, 2006

still in devastation

hey friends, i'm blogging from the big Easy...that is, New Orleans.

We're currently staying in a bed & breakfast just a few blocks from the French Quarter where there happens to be some internet access, and I thought I'd fill you in a little.

I've seen some major devastation these past few days that I'm currently still processing both mentally and emotionally. It isn't something that can be comprehended, that's for sure.

We're working in St. Bernard parish (a parish is a county here, fyi) where there was 100% destruction. For those of you who don't know, St.Bernard Parish is the first county in the United States to ever be 100% destroyed. 280,000 homes were lost, and there is an unbelievable amount of flood damage. It's surreal to drive through neighborhoods where the water line is visible at various levels. The tent where we're working every day and where we had church on Sunday morning happens to be in a Super Wal-Mart parking lot. We were told that the water was as high as the 'W' on the Wal-Mart building...that's 16-17 feet high, folks. Many houses flooded from 2 feet to 8 feet within a matter of 5 minutes.

I could fill your heads with statistic after statistic that I've learned, but it's nothing until you see this place and meet the real people who have been through it. I've already come in contact with hundreds of real survivors, and I promise you they are truly wonderful and grateful people, much unlike what the media portrays. They are thankful to see that other people care for them, and we're thankful for the experience of meeting them and hearing their stories. Thankfully, they're very open and willing to talk about it.

I can't wait to tell you more stories and post pictures when I get back, but for now I wanted to fill you in a little on our experiences. Most importantly, I just want to say that if you can come down here for a long weekend or a few days or a week or month or summer, please do. As the world just 'remembers' Katrina, these people are still living it. It's not over yet. In fact, it's just now beginning. While we're still stuck in the devastation, they've moved past that and have begun to find hope. This is home to them, no matter what has happened, and they're ready to rebuild.

Please be in prayer for the people of New Orleans and particularly from St. Bernard Parish. Keep praying for good health for our group while we're here as well as for the thousands of other college students serving during their spring breaks this week here. Pray that good work is done and that as this city begins to rebuild, they'll know that the world still cares, and most importantly they have a God that hasn't moved. He's here now more than ever, and He's moving in HUGE ways in this place. Keep praying people.

It's getting exciting.