• Caren

waveland: luxury volunteerism

1/8/06


mississippi is very flat. the main roads shoot straight out in both directions and i can't tell if the trees on the sides of the road are supposed to look like that or if it was the hurricane that stripped off all of the leaves except for the ones on top. it's hard to imagine what this place must have looked like before. never been to kansas, but it reminds me of the wizard of oz. like someone picked up the houses and dropped them from a height.

we got in yesterday morning. didn't sleep too much the night before. the plane left at 6 am. people knew we were up to something; imagine a herd of young asian people sweeping through the airport, each of us clutching a brand-new sleeping bag. one lady asked if we were a gymnastics troupe. maybe the sleeping bags looked like yoga mats or something.

now live in a big warehouse, on army cots. surprisingly comfortable. and the cleanest porta-potties i've ever seen. really pretty nice. not to mention that i slept at 9 pm last night, and now i have time to use the internet. this is like luxury volunteerism.

but then, this is my second day. i can't start to imagine what it's like for people who knew what this place used to look like. this was someone's home. to me it's all the same, they tell me to move this, cart that, pull of the carpet, sweep the floor, and i do it. so i really don't know. God, i don't know

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