Tuesday, April 04, 2006

revisions to paper

Here is the beginning of my paper redone so that it isn't telling a story but showing it. I am going to work more on it tommorrow I haven't had time to revise the whole paper yet.

After twenty hours on a crowded bus, I awake to sound of my fellow classmates gasping “ooh’s” and “oh my God’s”. I feel around for my glasses and quickly put them on. I can’t believe what I see when I peer out of the lightly tinted bus windows. It is as though we have been traveling for days not hours. It is as if we were in a third world country or a ghost town, with desolate streets and dilapidated buildings. There were rows among rows of cars on the sides of the main roads, covered in a white residue. Road signs were fallen and some non-existent, buildings now only roofs with woods beams. We looked to our professors for input and the only thing they told us was that we hadn’t even gotten to the bad parts yet. With this my mind began to race with questions in anticipation of what the next two weeks would have in store for us on our journey to help rebuild New Orleans.
(find out how to write sound that a microphone makes when you turn it on)
I am quickly interrupted by the sound of one of my professors trying to use the loudspeaker on the bus and I realize that we are finally here. The bus has stopped at what seems to be a completely abandoned church parking lot, that to my best judgment seems to have escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. As I step off the bus it hits me. We are actually in New Orleans. There’s no turning back. I am overwhelmed with the images I had of looters stealing things and the words of my father telling me to be careful of alligators and snakes. I wonder if I have gotten myself into something that I can’t handle.
The only people I really know on the trip are my ex-boyfriend, of who I am not speaking to, two of his good friends, and two girls that live upstairs from me. They seem alright, so we’ll see how that goes. After all, I didn’t sign up for this trip to make friends. I don’t think any of us did. I signed up for this class because I remember sitting in a frat house the weekend before school started watching a football game, while news banners were reeling at the bottom of the screen telling us that a Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast as a category 3 storm, destroying virtually all in it’s path. Images were shown of people walking through oil filled waters up to their shoulders, of people standing on their roofs desperate to be rescued, and of thousands of people crammed into the superdome in seek of food, of family members, of help. This made me remember when Hurricane Isabel came through the areas of my hometown about two and a half years ago, and the flooding and devastation that it caused to us and others around us. As awful as that experience was, the tragedy in New Orleans was far worse. They needed help. They needed our help. My thirty classmates, three professors, and I were here in this church parking lot for that very reason.
When the bus door finally opened, we quickly grabbed our pillows and backpacks and made our way through the big doors of the Gretna United Methodist Church. A brown haired woman with a great warmth about her greeted us in the hallway and showed us to the rooms where we would be staying. The room was a very cheery red color. It was spacious with three couches, a foosball table, and a TV. Since the girls outnumbered the boys, we laid claims on it, giving the boys the room next door despite their many failed efforts of switching so that they could have the TV. After we laid claims on where we wanted to sleep, the lady showed us around the church. She told us they were blessed in that the only room damaged by the storm was the one we were staying in, but that they had it fully redone so that mission groups like ourselves could stay and help. She showed us the kitchen, where we would be preparing our own meals for the week, and the sanctuary that had a beautiful wooden ceiling, unlike anything I had seen before. The church was incredible and unlike anything I had imagined. I thought we were going to be staying in a half destroyed church with one shower and no hot water. It was at this point that I realized all of my inhibitions were wrong. These two weeks were going to be something totally unpredictable and I was ready to see what was in store for us.


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