A window inside life at Augustana College

The Third Time’s the Charm (and completely different): Mississippi Part 2-February 23, 2009

This is second of six entries that I wrote during my service trip to Mississippi in February of 2009…

 

Well, I’ve completed my first day of work on this trip, and I must take a moment to make some comparisons between this trip and the previous two that I’ve been on of this type. To make this easier to understand for those of you who don’t know this, I’ll explain. In the Summer of 2005, and again in 2007, I went on a weeklong mission trip through Group Workcamps (in ’05, we went to Rocky Mount, North Carolina; in ’07, we helped out in Savannah, Georgia) Anyway, when I signed up for this trip back in December, I wasn’t expecting it to be very similar at all to my prior experiences, but I guess I didn’t realize HOW different it would be as far as the work that I did was concerned…or how much I would enjoy that difference. In the morning, we went down to breakfast, when someone else told me that there was a separate line to get your lunch for the day. I tell you, I was about 5 seconds away from saying something to the effect of, “Isn’t there one person from each group designated to get lunches?” (at Workcamps, there was a position on each crew called the “Break Maker” who’s job was pretty much what I just said, getting the lunches for the crew) Now going from a difference that almost made me look very foolish to a difference that I loved, we arrive at the worksite. Now, I’m not making a statement for the intensity of all of the different jobs at Workcamp, but in 2 different Workcamps, 90% of what I did was probably painting. Not this time. The day pretty much consisted of tearing out insulation, drywall, and ceiling from 3 rooms of a house. It was like going from “Bob The Builder” to “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” and I loved it. Also our “Resident” (Workcamp lingo, can’t escape it…) made us sandwiches and chips for lunch, and told us she’d be making us spaghetti tomorrow (by the way, I just needed somebody’s assistance to spell the word “spaghetti”. that ought to knock my ego down a few clicks…), which is good, because tomorrow we’ll be hanging new insulation and drywall, both things that I’ve never done either. In conclusion, as all us good Christians know, Lent starts on Wednesday. And as all us good Cajun scholars know, the day before Lent is widely known as Mardi Gras. And as any good cartographer would be aware of, we are currently on the Gulf Coast. Finally, as any halfway decent mathematician could tell you: Mardi Gras+being on the Gulf Coast=FUN! We will be going to a parade in Biloxi tomorrow, but unfortunately, since both New Orleans is an hour and a half away, and since we have to work on Wednesday morning, I won’t be having the Mardi Gras of a lifetime, only the Mardi Gras of the decade…

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