Photos courtesy of trip leader Andy Lehto.
Photos courtesy of trip leader Andy Lehto.
Harrison ’16 writes:
Work continued at both houses today and yesterday. Wednesday was a half day so we worked at both houses in the morning before having lunch at the dorm and heading to Oxford, Mississippi, home of the University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss. We enjoyed shopping in town and several of us went to the baseball game between Ole Miss and Southeastern Missouri State for an hour or two before going to dinner at a great barbecue place in town. We were joined by GS alum and Ole Miss student Ben Haferl, GS ’15. We all enjoyed our meals before getting in the vans for our trip back to Clarksdale. Mild weather in Oxford quickly turned to torrential downpours and thunderstorms in Clarksdale.
This morning we split up into the same groups and went to our respective houses to get work done. The group at Spruce Street finished painting and will be joining the rest of the group at LeFlore Street tomorrow. The group at LeFlore worked for about an hour and a half before Tim, one of the Habitat workers, got a call from the Habitat coordinator, Lena, telling him to get a group of us ready to go to a canoe shop that was flooding. From the street, everything seemed to be okay, but three stories down, below the levee, the river was quickly rising. About half the group waded through the knee-high water to the basement door where several workers from the canoe shop were already building sandbag walls and bailing out water. We helped collect important documents and books and pass them up through a hole the owner cut in the ground/ceiling so they would be protected from the flooding. Most of the items in the basement were canoe related things, and therefore waterproof, but there were also many books and official papers that needed to be moved to higher ground. We were helping them until about 1:30 when we had done just about as much as we could. The water line was still rising so there was no use bailing the water anymore and the sandbags were only going to be useful for so long. All the important documents, books, clothes, etc. were upstairs and all the canoes were tied to a cluster of trees in a calm part of what is now the river. I hope everyone is okay and no further damage ensues. John, the owner, was very grateful for our help and it made us all feel good. And, on top of that, we were all getting tired of mudding the walls at Leflore!
From Carly ’16
I’m being told it’s only the second day here, but between the immense progress we have already made at the house and the bonds that have been formed with the neighborhood kids, it feels more like a month. All the hard work being put into building one house and doing some repairs on another leaves us with little energy by the evening. That being said, the neighborhood kids have enough energy to go around so we have got some intense games of monkey in the middle and a couple of hairstyling sessions in before the street lights turn on. There is also a neighborhood dog we have all managed to fall in love with. We named him “Carson Anthony Maxwell Pad”, but are told his real name is “Butch”.
Our evenings consist of two people cooking a homemade meal and a lively dinner conversation. While waiting for dinner to be cooked we are doing one of two things, playing with the kids or a group sing along which also occurs in every car/van ride, pre and post dinner, and even during our house building. Today Brandon R. and Charis cooked stir-fry, with unfortunately half of it ending up on the ground in a minor kitchen accident. It was a little devastating watching as the pan fell to the ground, but also created a nice break in the intense, hungry atmosphere. After dinner we take a trip to a local coffee shop to get some Wi-Fi time since there is none at the house. Last night we all got a little too hyped up on coffee and ended the night with an intense card game of “BS”.
Today was a little different from yesterday because a group of us took a break from housing repairs to spend the afternoon at a local playground hanging out with kids from an organization called “Spring”. The ages in “Spring” vary. We had the pleasure to get to know a group called the “little springs”. We managed to play a giant game of hide-and-seek, some wheelbarrow races, and ended with an ice cream break. The kids were only around for about an hour, so we finished off the day with a little ice cream treat of our own at the main building site. All the memories that have been made keep leaving me confused as to how it’s only been two days, and excited to see what the rest of the trip has in store.
This year George School students will be participating in a number of service trips throughout the world. This spring trips will go to France, Mississippi, Nicaragua, South Africa, and Washington, DC. This summer groups will travel to Arizona, China, and Cuba. More information about each trip is below. Continue reading