Camp Victor is now empty and extremely quiet. This trip has been great; I met great people and learned so many lessons. I made some great friends that I will continue to keep in touch with. Being around so many great people with one common goal (to help people) has truly changed my life.
I forgot to mention someone yesterday in my blog and his name is Devin. He worked with us for a day and hung out with us at camp victor. He is a big sweetheart. He came all the way from Wisconsin by himself and this is not his first trip. He successfully made friends with every person here at camp victor. Pretty amazing, I know. I actually thought he was staff because he was so attentive to everyone but no he is just a volunteer with a huge heart.
I can't believe that when Spike said "Lets put this booger up," he actually meant we would be putting up an entire house. We as a group tore apart a house and then rebuilt it in four days. Incredible what you can do with 20 or so strangers, a few hammers, and two leaders. We all learned so much about each other and ourselves.
We will be leaving today, headed for New Orleans and will be arriving in Pittsburgh sometime tonight. This trip has gone way too fast; it feels as if we have only been here for a day. We accomplished so much in such a little amount of time imagine what we could do with a few more days.
This is my last entry before heading back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! Since my last post we have nailed our last nails, put up our final plywood sheets, and deconstructed our last studs. It's been such a life changing experience. This moment in time I should tell you why I came on this trip. When I was a little girl, my Grandparents lived in Rockwood, Pennsylvania and there was a tornado close by in Salsbury, PA. When we went to visit we all went to see what the tornado had done to the community. All I remember was driving past one house that was gutted. The insulation was thrown about the lawn and there was one wall standing. In the middle of the wrecked house stood this little girl about my age holding her teddy bear. That image stuck with me and I said one day I would help her out, give back to her. Last night while I was laying in bed, I finally felt like I gave back to that little girl. I helped put one more house up that was not exsisting. It feels very rewarding to help out a community. I would LOVE to come back and see the house complete and get to build another house. Hopefully, Point Park keeps up with the alternative Spring Breaks because I'm SO in=). We are suppose to go back to New Orleans today but I have no feeling of returning to school. haha. But, I want to thank all my loved one's for helping make this trip possible and I thank all the people of Mississippi for letting me into their community to lend a helping hand. It's been real, it's been fun, it's been REAL FUN!
It's Brittany, writing for the last time from Camp Victor. This is really weird because it's 8 a.m. and we're not on the work site in the heat, but packing up to make our way back to Pittsburgh.
I've learned more from this trip than I thought possible, especially from all of the people that I've met throughout the week. It's amazing how much can be accomplished when a group of people come together for one cause. The other individuals that our group worked with this week have been thoroughly talked about in previous blogs and I am glad to have met every one of them. Also, everyone has a different story and getting to know people that you may have never met otherwise is a great part of working with Habitat.
I think its also really great that our group of students who really didn't know each other beforehand has become close over the week. Not to sound too cheesy, but all of us have shared memories that will last a lifetime.
This week has been amazing and I am thankful that I was able to be a part of the Habitat work. I would not have spent my spring break any other way and I hope to do this again soon.
Hey this is Morgan. It's our last day here, and I'm very sad to leave. I feel that there is a lot of things I still have to do... like finish the house for one thing. I'm very proud of all of us and how much we accomplished. Not only did we learn how to build a house, we learned many things about ourselves and others, and have come to be really good friends. Yesterday was our last work day. We put up plywood around the frame and now it looks like a house. We made cards for our supervisors Spikes and Miles, who I will miss so much when I leave. I definitely want to come back and see them and see how far the house has come. Carol a.k.a sweetest woman ever left yesterday, with David (they make such a cute couple) she was always dressed and ready to go by the time the lights turned on. I will definitely keep in touch with both of them. Ocean Springs is such a beautiful and friendly town. Being so close to the Gulf it has recovered pretty well, but there is still a lot to be done. Standing in front of the now calm waters of the Gulf , reminds me how powerful and dangerous nature can be. Despite the destruction, natives refuse to leave, and I can see why. They have such a strong community and love for this area, that its not as easy to just pack up and leave. Suffice it to say, this trip was pretty amazing!!
It's strange that I've gotten so used to waking up early. It's 7:45am and here I am, wide awake in the nearly empty, dark Camp Victor lounge, writing this!
Yesterday was probably my favorite day here. The 11 of us have really gotten to know each other over the last 6 days, but last night I feel we really bonded. I don't know, who knows, it's just how I feel!
At the jobsite yesterday, things were a little chaotic. We put up all the plywood around the house, so everybody had a hammer, and some people were up on ladders, things began to fall, so hard hats were worn (Which say Habitat for Humanity AND we get to keep, by the way.) It was HOT outside and I could feel myself getting sunburnt. What's strange about Mississippi heat is it seems to get reaaaaalllly hot from 9am-12pm and then cool off until about 3pm, then get raging hot again. Carol, our adopted "Wall Mom", and her beau David left around 2, and it was really sad to say goodbye! I loved meeting them and working with them. We worked until about 3:45pm and said our goodbyes...we had already given Miles and Spikes their cards (which they seemed to love!) and of course, we took a million group pictures and pics of our house. It really looked like a house, sans roof and siding. I'm so glad we got to start from the bottom up. Of course, if our project was toput in insulation and siding and stuff, it would still be fun but I'm glad we were here the week we were.
After we were dropped off at Camp Victor, I took my last shower, bid farewell to my shower shoes as I threw them in the trash, and bought a Habitat for Humanity sweatshirt. A few of us got them...they are cute and also the proceeds went to an amazing cause.
Then we had dinner with 2 partner families. I talked briefly with a few women, and one told me how she stayed in her house with her husband when Katrina hit. There was 6 feet of water in her house while they ran to the attic. Thankfully that was all, and she said she was blessed enough to have a group of people help restore her first floor after the storm. Her sister's house, however, was destroyed in Biloxi and is currently being rebuilt by a group that was staying here with us.
This trip has truly made me appreciate what I have. I cannot take anything or anyone in my life for granted. I feel like I really made a difference while being here. No matter how sore I am, how sick I feel, how sunburnt my arms are or how much my blisters may hurt, I would never trade this experience for anything.
On March 1-7, Point Park University Students will be taking an alternative spring break trip to Biloxi to help Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast rebuild houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. This blog will document the journey.