We flew Continental with a connection in Houston. We arrived in
Gulfport at 8:20 pm. The only ones flying this day from San Jose
were Mary, myself, and Sal, whoh works at Camp Maymac in the
Scotts Valley area. John, who is in charge of the operation here,
took us to Applebee's then he drove us here to Bay St. Louis.
We are staying in a baseball field that was donated by the mayor of
Bay St. Louis. They have erected what they like to call "tents" but
in some cases are just tarps lashed together to poles. We do have
generators for electricity, and small electic heaters in all the
tents. The "tent" I'm sharing with Sal also has a propane heater.
Fortunately Mary and I were prepared for cold nights because we had
been led to believe we'd be staying in a facility with cold A/C at
night. Because we're actually outside and a cold snap hit within
the last week. Last night it got down to 30 degrees. (F, for those
in the US; for Annette, that would be about -1 degrees C.)
What we're doing:
They pretty much have a food bank set up here in large tents. They
are open four days per week, but for seven hours each days. About
250-300 people show up every day. It's not really a lot of work to
keep the shelves stocked, but no trucks arrived today either. There
will be a lot of work when more stuff gets delivered. Stuff can be
canned goods, dry goods, toiletries, and clothing. The clothing is
the most difficult to stock because it comes in random assortments
of sizes and colors for men, women, and children.
Calvary Chapel has set up a kitchen in another part of town.
They feed anyone from the community and also all the volunteers.
We can eat breakfast and lunch there every day.
Today, Shirley, who lives across the street, made us a dinner of
black eyed peas, rice, cornbread, and apple and pineapple cobblers.
Someone else sent a pot of gumbo.
Our day starts at 7:30 when we leave for breakfast at the Calvary
Chapel tents. Then we return at 8:30 for devotions. At 10:00 the
food bank opens, and it stays open until 5:00. Then we had dinner,
and at 6:30 they showed "Star Wars Episode 1" on a large screen in
one of the tents. These movie showings are open to the public for
free as a family activity. But not many people showed up tonight
because they changed the location recently. Some of the equipment
was donated by a stunt actor who was a stunt double on "Diagnosis
Murder." I guess they live nearby here.
They pointed out a few damaged houses and automobiles to us, but
mostly I would not have noticed a lot had it not been pointed out.
But there is a lot of trash by the side of the road. Mary saw more
damage than I did. Someone who came to the food bank showed me
her collapsed house and dead goats. Apparently she had a farm or
ranch and she lost all her animals. I also met a piano teacher who
lost her parlour grand piano. Ouch!
Well, it's only 10:00 pm now but we're tired!
Obviously, we do have internet access. Please feel free to send
us emails! We have heard only from Annette in Belgium. And I have
exchanged some text messages with my sisters Susan and Carol.
If you'd like us to send you a personal email, you'll have to send
us one first. We didn't bring anyone's email address with us.