Biloxi Mississippi Alternative Spring Break 2009
Just Getting Started

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hey everyone! It’s Kelly.

Wow so I can’t believe we only left on Sunday. We have been on our feet almost the whole time and by mealtime I’m starving and by nighttime I’m exhausted but it has all been worth it. New Orleans was AMAZING! I never really knew much about the city but it’s a beautiful place. Walking around it seems almost like a small Eurpean town. With a lot of great culture and unique shops. Just taking a walk around I was overwhelmed by the sites, smells, and sounds. With jazz and cajun music coming out of open shops and cafes. The smells of all the Cajun food and the incredible architecture surrounding us. With only two days there we left with some pretty interesting stories.

Just of the couple of things that surprised me…
- The insanity that is Bourbon St. even on a Sunday night in chilly weather people were still out partying, even if it was only five p.m.
-The massive amounts of shops, bars, and restaurants it’s not hard to find something to do.
-Also just how incredibly beautiful the city is.
-Yet the most unsettling was the difference between the nice areas in New Orleans and the devistation that is still in parts of the 9th ward. The constrast between the rebuilt homes and the homes next door that are still demolished from the effects of Katrina is so shocking.

Now we are at our home for the rest of the week, Camp Victor in Biloxi, Mississippi. We just got through with our orientation and have the rest of the night to hang out and get to know each other before heading off tomorrow to get started on our work for Habitat for Humanity! Wish us luck!

-Kelly

Our First Day

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hello there! This is Adam Flanagan; senior psychology major and photojournalist for the trip!

Continuing our story from the last blog, when we first arrived in New Orleans we had a driving tour of the 9th Ward. This location was one of the worst hit during Hurricane Katrina.It was interesting to see what has been built over three years since the storm, and also what has still not been done. After this insightful tour, we had a nice walk around town and ended up at the New Orleans’ flea market. We met many interesting people and bought a few souvenirs for our only day in this great city. We also ended up at Preservation hall, a famous jazz hall in which we heard a wonderful jazz band.

Well, off to sleep! I hope everyone out there is well! Tomorrow is our first day in Biloxi, Mississippi in which we will be going through our orientation. We will be learning the first steps of the skills we will need to help build houses! Wish us luck!

Adam Flanagan

^Our house building team!

Hot-Lanta is FREEZING!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

We’ll post more after dinner, but we have safely made it to New Orleans!

Due to the snow storm (yes, snow) in the south we had some bumpy travels in and out of Atlanta. When we finally landed in New Orleans it was 35 degrees! After breakfast we drove through the 9th ward and checked in to the hotel. We are staying at the Ambassador Hotel, which is very “New Orleans” with high ceilings, french-style decor and a great lobby! We took the trolley through the Garden District and now are trying to get some rest before dinner and dancing at Mulat’s and an evening of jazz at Preservation Hall.

Pre-Trip

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ashley Dalton here- one of two chaperones on this adventure. We will be leaving from Point Park at 4am on Sunday and making sure that I’ve got everyone’s waivers, interaries, reservations, etc. has me quite busy.

I’m so excited about the opportunity to travel to New Orleans and Biloxi with this outstanding group of students!

As soon as we figure out the technology (this is my first blog), we’ll be adding photos and accounts of our week.

Please keep us in your thoughts that we have a safe and exciting trip while helping those in need.