Thursday, March 5, 2009

Elaine's First Blog - Is My Face Red?

Hello all,

This is my first blog finally and just a warning it's going to be long so hold on to your hats!! First, I must apologize to my loved ones who have been waiting for my blog, it's be mega busy and I've been trying to find time to study for midterms but ANYWHO!!!

The flight in! So, the airplane flight in was amazing! I absolutely love flying! It's the greatest feeling I've ever felt and I can't wait to do it again going home BUT i don't want to go home just yet. Sorry I keep getting off topic. So, the flight was amazing and arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana was so cool. We got off the plane and everything smelled so beachy. When we went outside however, the weather was only about 30 degrees. What a bummer! We then went to Denny's. I mean come on, we're in NEW ORLEANS and we're eating at Denny's but it's okay. Our waitress had an accent which compensated I guess.

After our Denny's randevu we went looking around the 9th ward where Hurricane Katrina had hit. What an experience! There are actually no words to describe the heartache and pain I felt for everyone there. It made me just want to start building for them right then and there. But I knew we would be working in a few days. After touring the destroyed area of New Orleans we went to the motel. BEAUTIFUL i must say. I didn't think we would get such a nice hotel. Later that day we went touring New Orleans on the trolley and by foot. I WAS ON BOURBON STREET!!! It was so awesome. I will have to post video of Bourbon Street but for right now I can't connect through Camp Victor's computers. ANYWHO! I think the French Quarter in New Orleans is just amazing. The architecture is so unique and everything is 2 stories (maybe 3 stories with the basement but I didn't see that). While walking around we all were enthralled with the Mardi Gras aftermath. There were tons and tons of Mardi Gras beads hung up in the trees. It's was awesome and beautiful! Once the night time rolled around we walked the streets a little more. It's amazing how early everything opens. We then walked to a resturant called Mulate's. I never had Cajun food so it was a treat! Adam, Kelly, Riva ordered the seafood platter which consisted of frog legs, alligator, catfish, crawlfish, stuffed mushrooms, meat pies and some kind of sausage. Everything was excellent!! I love love love frog legs haha!! After dinner there was a live band and I watched the people dance around with much suprise that a few of our crew got up to dance. I thought that was fantastic!! Once we left the restaurant we went to a jazz concert at Preservation Hall. FANTASTIC! I thouroughly enjoyed listening to the men play their instruments and flare their New Orleans Pride. I was utterly moved by that experience and also yelled at for taking pictures but it's all good=). Once we did that we were beat and went to bed.

The following morning we got up and went to Cafe Du Monde's. This calls for an OMG moment right here! They served french doughnuts called Beignets. FANTABULOUS!!! Yes, Kaitlin, FANTABULOUS!! A beignet is a doughnut topped with a POUND of powdered sugar!!!!!
Once we left our sweet New Orleans, we traveled to Camp Victor. We arrived and got the run down of what we were doing and then ate. Once we ate we started a puzzle and went to bed because we were so beat and lights out was 10pm.

Day 1 of Construction (or deconstruction, I think?)
We had finally arrived to build our house...or wait, BUILD!? Our site supervisor told us to start tearing boards APART!! Well, that was interesting and we spent our first day banging nails OUT of boards! By the end of the first day we had accomplished...nothing. No, I'd kidding we did get a few walls up.Day 2 (FINALLY, construction)
The second day was a lot more productive. We finally got more walls up and most of the interior. After a hard day of work and being sun burnt we went to a Mississippi Seawolves Ice Hockey game!!! I had never been to a hockey game and it was a fantastic experience.

Day 3 (TODAY, actually)
Today was another very productive day. We got all the walls up and we started the back yard shed. Very fun work and we laughed most of the time. Now, I'm here, posting to everyone that I love and miss!!!<3

My New Orleans/Biloxi experience has been SO SO SO FANTABULOUS!!!!! I have been so moved and have never felt better about doing anything else so good for the people of my country. This group of student workers has also been so amazing. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE has put their foot first and has contributed their hardest effort. It makes me very proud to go to Point Park with such loyal, hardworking individuals. Besides the greatest workers we have, there have been sooooo many people just coming up to us and telling us Thank You. It feels so good and I cry everytime someone says Thank You because really I should be the one thanking them for allowing me into their wonderful community to help them out. I will be posting tomorrow for the last time before heading home, Saturday, but I hope all is well for everyone and I will talk to you all so soon!

Much love,

Elaine Koontz (Elle<3)

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