Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A look around at all the camps-Randy's Rangers

We will try something a bit different today, each site submitted their own reports on who the work is going. We'll start off with A report from Randy's by Emily:

Emily – After responding to the disaster in Alabama, I assumed Mississippi would be nearly the same. As an early responder in Alabama, I witnessed the utter devastation and destruction the tornado left behind. Whole trees ripped from the ground, roots included, with green splattered all over the neighborhood decorated Enterprise, Ala. -- the lush scenery was still apparent of what had been.

The community pulled itself together; each neighbor helping the other remove debris or save what was left from a house that was once a home. Neighbors drove around continuously all day, offering food and water to workers and volunteers. Southern hospitality certainly shone through the darkness of the disaster.

The scene is quite different in Pass Christian, Miss. More than a year and a half later, the scene in Mississippi is quite bleak. As I look up and down the street here at Randy’s Rangers, everything simply looks dead. The greenery is far and few – a rare find. Trees are resting anywhere and everywhere, twisted and turned, brittle and unmoved since Katrina winds and water knocked them down. I can see only the naked foundations of houses and nothing else.

Some home owners have moved into trailers, in hopes of rebuilding their homes, which is where we come in. There are no neighbors driving around. It just seems deserted. It’s depressing and I feel for the people who once inhabited these houses, many of which are now up for sale. I wonder who lived here – were they married, did they have kids, did anyone die in the storm, etc.? All that is left are the empty shells of these residents. It seems like the situation is hopeless; how can 20 college kids make a difference? As the days go on, I begin to slowly understand how much we do matter when someone thanks us or emails a school official out of gratitude. It will continue to be a slow process. I only hope that the rest of the nation will realize that a year and a half later, Mississippi still needs help—the disaster is not over, yet and so many people are reliving it everyday when they step outside their trailer door and look out to nothing where their homes once stood.

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