Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned for more information on the New Orleans trip.

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

Thank You

THANK YOU! For all of your support.

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

Living Room

Kyle Olson and Abby Eddy level the living room waines coat with a

Painting Kitchen Continued...

Hillary Dudzek and Molly Ireland

Painting the Kitchen

Mia Sweeney paints the edges of the kitchen with Molly Ireland,
Hillary Dudzek, Leah Rebne and Adviser Ashlie Kohl.


Kendra Sheck uses a nail gun on the wainescoat, the wooden side
paneling on the bottom third of the living room.

Molly Ireland Uses the Skill Saw

Working Hard or Hardly Working

Adviser Mike Lueder and Mia Sweeney assist hanging the finished ceiling.

Submitted by Mia Sweeney

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blogger announced it will be maintaining the Web site on Thurs., 3/26 for about 10 minutes at 6 p.m. Central, at which time it will be unavailable.
Student Trip Leader

Heaven on Earth

The other group of ASBers took a walk on the I-110 Loop Walk.

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
the surroundings.

Photos to come post-trip.

Sam Kapitz, Kyle Olson, Mia Sweeney and Jon Hall contributed to this

Baptist Experience

ASBers had the option of going to a Baptist church service Wednesday

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.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Waiting in Line for Dinner

Seashore United Methodist Assembly (SUMA) has been feeding ASBers
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
to them.

Christy and her cooking staff serve about 130 volunteers at dinner
Wednesday night.


Sam Kapitz saws a piece of plywood for the ceiling.

It never ended up raining today, but the tarp provided nice shade
throughout the day.

Richard's Paintshop

Jenna Wheat and Adviser Ashlie Kohl stand by a sign reading "Hurricane
Katrina Water Line 7 feet, August 29, 2005."

We get almost all of our supplies here, one block from the house.

Painting from the Scaffolds

Chelsea Sievert and Jon Hall work on the facade of the house.

Rain Tarp

Ben Doing holds the ladder for Melissa Jensen while she strings the
tarp to the roof.

Preparing for Rain

Molly Ireland and Megan Salm help secure the last portion of the FEMA
rain tarp.

There has been no rain yet, but we'll just have to wait and see!


Mandy Acre touches up the house with white paint.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reflection Activity, Sonic Trip

Every night, the group splits into three smaller reflection groups.  Tonight's activity - groups competed in a scavenger hunt.

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.

Working on Some Steps

Megan Schildbach and Emily work on wood that will be used to make steps.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Friendly Locals

Biloxi locals Bobby and Nick were training their dogs when we arrived
at the baseball diamond, so we broke into reflection groups for about
45 minutes.

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 (

Bobby with Gizzy, Nick with Gauge.

Local Pizza Hut Driver Brings Pizza

Last inning, 10-9, competition is intense. Right before the first
kicker goes, a Pizza Hut driver shows up with three pizzas after being
stood up.

Southern Hospitality!

Team "Pirates" were defeated 10-9 by the "Yeah!" team.


The ASB group located a baseball diamond on Sunday while exploring the
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

Sun and Wasps

A few houses down the street from our work site are some ASBers who
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.

Temporary Housing

Williams is currenty living in this temporary trailer behind her house
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.

Comments Appreciated

We have received some great comments! They are all sent to Ben's e-
mail right away and read to the entire group.

If you want us to know who it is from, include your name.

Thank you for your continued support!

Ben D

Historic Home First Project

Karen Williams' home is a historic landmark. It was built in the 1920s
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.

Neighbor's Airmail Box

Mike Lueder and Sarah Paff prepare the paint for Kyle Olson as Jon
Hall holds the ladder in place.

First Day Rebuilding Home Keeps Group Busy

Abby Eddy and Jenna Wheat pull nails from wood that will be used on
the home.

Little people big world

Little People Big World is on tonight on TLC at 7 p.m. The show
takes place in Biloxi so there will be a chance to see the area.

Mia Sweeney contributed to this post.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Downtown Biloxi

Group Visits Katrina Memorial

Being Silly

Molly Ireland, Jenna Wheat, Sarah Paff and Megan Salm

Tree Statues Line Median

Several trees were replanted on the strip between lanes on I-90 after
Hurricane Katrina, and artists came to Biloxi to sculpt amazing
animals into them.


A handful of group members went exploring with Mike Lueder to see the
surrounding neighborhoods.

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.

Made it!

Whole group (Ben Doing taking photo).

Kyle Olson Leads Group in Beach Clean-up

The ASB group wanted to take a walk to the lighthouse about a mile
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.

ASBers Watch the Sunrise at the beach

Eileen Clark, Ben Doing, Leah Rebne, Kyle Olson, Sarah Paff and Sam
Kapitz wake up at 5:45 a.m. and head to the ocean to view the sunrise.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Horseshoe Crab!

Came within inches of stepping on one of these lovely creatures while

ASB Staying Football Field Away From Ocean

Sarah Paff and Megan Salm take a walk on the beach.

Transfer through Memphis, Tennessee

Kendra Sheck, Melissa Jensen, Hillary Dudzek

Fwd: ASB Group Awaits Flight at Milwaukee Airport

> The ASB group can be instantly spotted at the Milwaukee airport with
> 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.

ASB Group Awaits Flight at Milwaukee Airport

Spring Break has finally arrived, and 18 UW Oshkosh students and two
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.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What is Alternative Spring Break?

See to learn more.

Campus News to follow trip updates

UW Oshkosh Today is working on a feature story about our ASB trip! They will also be following our blog. Look right... start following!

More updates to come...

Student Trip Leader

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Reflection Planning

Jenna, Sarah and I just finished planning the reflection/facilitation activities for the trip!

Can't wait for ASB!!

Student Trip Leader

Monday, February 23, 2009

First blog post

The Grilled Cheese Dorm Delivery went very well! ASB raised over $100 in the first out of two nights.

Can't wait for Spring break!

Student Trip Leader