Monday, September 8, 2008

Gustav Weekend

On Thursday afternoon, I received an email looking for people to go to Louisiana for the weekend to help in the Gustav clean up. Why not?
After a Chinese dinner on Friday night, I went home to work on some school work. The bus was to leave at 5am so I thought I would have plenty of time for work and sleep. I was wrong. I pulled my first grad school all nighter and still did not finish everything. But off at 5am did I go to Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge is 9 hours away from Nashville. A 9 hour ride in which I wrote a paper and slept. Pulling into the area, I was stuck by the difference between Gustav and Katrina. When Katrina hit, I went on 4 trips to AL/LA/MS areas to work. Katrina was mostly flood damage whereas Gustav was wind damage. There were trees down everywhere. Stoplights were out. We had to stop in MS because we did not know if gas would be available.
Our base was the Goodwood Church of Christ. They did not have power and had people stopping by asking for supplies continuously. Our friend Doug drove us a little bit around some of the worst hit areas. Such beautiful neighborhoods in ruins... LSU campus was looking pretty rough. We spent Saturday afternoon cutting down trees/limbs, hauling limbs to the sides of the roads and just doing whatever we could to help out a little. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits considering the mess... Even this car owner... All 3 of her cars were destroyed and her house was smashed literally to pieces..
We worked until about an hour before the citywide curfew. Then it was off to finish my paper. Because there was no power, I could not email my assignment in so I had to call a friend and read my paper over the phone. He typed it up for me and sent it to my professor. Talk about pain staking! (Kenny, I owe you big time!) I fell asleep to the symphony of men snoring around me in the heat of the Cajun south. (Did I mention that I was the only one under 40? Sandra was the only other female.)
Sunday morning, we got up early to go take care of some more yards. This time we cut down about 7 trees in the period of 3 hours. Getting to be pros! We met some really amazing people and were so encouraged by everyone's attitudes. When we got back to the church, we showered in scalding and I do mean scalding showers. (They has this tractor trailer that had 8 showers in it. It was super nice... I am thinking the solution to all church camp problems!) Then, it was time to hit the road for the long trip home. More studying. More sleeping.
All in all, it was a great weekend. I probably did more studying than if I had stayed home. I got a great battlescar... the bruise of all bruises... I did wind up getting a nasty cold which is keeping me home tonight. Yuck. But other than that... so thankful I went!
Ike is gulf coast bound so please keep these people in your prayers. They have already faced so much devastation! If you would like to help in the clean up efforts, please just let me know.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Beth, this is Amanda Rathe from our new monastic group. I ran across your blog the other day, so I thought I would post a comment. That is awesome that you went to help Gustav this weekend. Also congrats on the flippin scholarship...I'd like to hear more about your education plans sometime.