Sunday, March 29, 2009
Also, come back to see more postings from our entire week, start to finish.
This blog hopes to share our experiences from the viewpoint of every ASB member, and would be incomplete without everyone's input.
ASB members are encouraged to share their memories in the form of photos, video and commentary in the coming weeks.
Student Trip Leader
The Alternative Spring Break trip has ended but the story continues.
Through memories shared between ASB members, and through conversations with the people we met.
The story of Biloxi, MS is one of hope. As the Gulf Coast continues to rebuild, students from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh leave Mississippi with a story and experience to share.
This spring break rebuilt lives, rebuilt hope and gave a group of 18 students and two advisers an experience to remember.
Student Trip Leader
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Student Trip Leader
They entered from the beach, and the walkway circled an overpass back
onto the land.
They were curious to see what the Beau Rivage Hotel & Casino looked
like, so they walked inside and were "stunned by how massive the
inside was," Sam Kapitz said.
On the second floor they chilled in the pool area while club music
played from the palm trees.
Then they went to the balcony and "we looked over the ocean,"
Kyle Olson said.
Pelicans perched on poles protruding from the Gulf, as ASBers absorbed
Photos to come post-trip.
Sam Kapitz, Kyle Olson, Mia Sweeney and Jon Hall contributed to this
For many of us, it was a different experience, and somewhat exciting.
The church was extremely welcoming. Once we were seated, the minister
called out to his congregation telling them it was 'time to play
musical chairs.' Church members grabbed us from our seats and moved us
to sit next to them.
Mike Lueder went to the front and introduced each one of us. To our
suprise, we were then asked to all come up and sing from the stage.
So there we were, awaiting instructions for a song to sing. The
pastor waited, and then asked us to sing.
We then realized we were leading a song, but we didn't know which one.
Megan Schildbach saved the awkward silence by saying "Amazing Grace!"
And then the entire congregation sang with us, and it was great.
Many congregation members thanked us for being there, and we took
photos in front of the church.
The church happens to be right accross the street from the NAACP
building that some ASBers repaired on Tuesday.
Jerry, a member of the church, took photos of us as well. He works in
the NAACP office and had driven by our site earlier this week to chat.
Abby Eddy contributed to this post.
plenty of food, with seconds available and lots of options for
The Junior high school directly behind the building was used as a
hurricane shelter after Katrina, and SUMA brought food in golf carts
Christy and her cooking staff serve about 130 volunteers at dinner
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Afterward, each group listened to a song chosen by the reflection leaders, and discussed how it made them feel. The lyrics were compared to our experiences in Biloxi.
The songs were:
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Israel Kamikawawiwo'ole
Refuge (When it's Cold Outside) by John Legend
Friends by Elton John
After Reflection, the entire group went to Sonic, a rare sight to many Wisconsinites. We were served by a girl in roller skates, and hung around for a while to chat.
A mild drizzle started once we returned "home," so some called it a night.
Monday, March 23, 2009
at the baseball diamond, so we broke into reflection groups for about
When the lights would not turn on, it looked like we might not get to
play for very long, if at all.
And then all of a sudden they kicked in, and a great game of kickball
Nick and Bobby joined us in our game, and the entire time was a close
scoring fun night.
Nick and Bobby have known each other since they were four years old,
and say they would love to go sledding someday, since they've never
experienced more than the few inches of snow Mississippi rarely
They are training their dogs for the American Pulling Alliance, the
iron man of dog competitions (weightpull.com).
Bobby with Gizzy, Nick with Gauge.
neighborhood, so we just had to have a kickball game.
The field is located across the railroad tracks from the Air Force base.
Sarah Paff runs to second base as a teammate sprints to home.
Photo by Megan Schildbach
removed nails from wood that will be reused.
The heat index today was "very high," so Ben Doing, Molly Ireland,
Chelsea Sievert and Melissa Jensen pitch a screen house to protect
against sunburn while working.
Unfortunately, the tent became a cage of wasps that had been hanging
out in the flowers, so we had to try and coax them out.
while her home is being fixed.
On Apr. 18, 2009 her contract expires and the trailer will be taken
Since the home is a historic landmark, it must be completed up to
standards before Williams is allowed to move in.
If it is not up to standards on April 18,, Williams will be homeless.
Various groups have worked on the house in a race against time, and
ASBers are now completing some of the last projects.
or earlier, the exact date it unknown.
Her father lived in this house, and Williams has been living in a
trailer behind the house, waiting for the repairs to be completed.
Hurricane Katrina brought flooding that filled the entire home, nearly
to the ceiling. Williams had to wait out the storm in a crawl space
until it was safe to come out.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The walk was beautiful, with many huge trees including this one.
We walked past the checkpoint for the Airforce base, which confirmed
what we thought were military planes and a helicopter flying into
Biloxi earlier today.
from our housing, and Kyle Olson's idea to do a trash pick-up of the
beach made the lighthouse a great goal to reach.
Eileen Clark, Mandy Acre, Kyle Olson and Sarah Paff.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
> their new official T-shirts.
> Update: a few members of the group were talking with Anita Greske
> while passing through a security checkpoint at the Milwaukee
> airport. Greske graduated from UW Oshkosh in 1976 with a degree in
> Special Education.
> Article and photo (from iPhone) by Ben Doing, student trip leader.
advisers anxiously await a flight to Mississippi to help rebuild a
region devasted by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
"I want to get to know some new people and help people down in
Biloxi," Molly Ireland said.
The students will be staying at the Seashore United Methodist Assembly
while completing construction projects on homes damaged by Hurricanes.
"I've never installed a window or done flooring before," Kendra Sheck
said. "I'm looking forward to learning how to do that, because it'll
be a challenge," she said.
The Alternative Spring Break Group is excited to help another
community while representing UW Oshkosh.
"I'd like to gain new friendships while doing community service,"
Sarah Paff said, a student trip leader.