Field Of Dreams

Friday 18 November 2005, 8:09 pm

Regarding the flight:

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.

The accomodations:

The tent I shared with Sal
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:

Entrance station (left), Store tent (right),
Warehouse tent (center rear)
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 pictures of 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.

God bless ... Good night!