A LONG, STRANGE SPRING BREAK
ers, but no one could really stomach the
compost toilets. Instead, each time we
needed to use the restroom, we drove
about a mile down the road to the Piggly
Wiggly and Pizza Express.
After oUI breakfast of homemade porridge, we left camp and headed for
Shrimper's Row. Located just behind a
bayou, it saw flood waters of about six feet
when Katrina rolled through. But instead
of doing repair work, we had been told to
do roadside trash cleanup. Not exactly what
we had signed up for, but we spent the day
cleaning and returned to camp for dinner.
Our hippie friends were cooking for
oUI group. Since they were all vegetarians,
meat preparation was - a challenge. Din-
ner the first night consisted of a sort of
black bean, rice and ground beef souffle. It
was surprisingly tasty.
We were hoping Monday would bring
May / J II II e 2 aa6
actual relief work. All of us went on the
trip to help people, and so far, we didn't
feel like we had.
But our work assignment for the day
involved - more trash pickup.Another
group had been assigned to gut an old grocery store, so my group ditched the trash
and joined the other group at the store.
The store also had seen about six feet
of water. Chauvin is surrounded by bay-
ous, and it doesn't take much water for
them to overflow. But with 20 of us work-
ing away in the store, it took us only a few
hours to finish gutting it.
No doubt the owner of the store
appreciated our efforts, but we began to
feel that OUI contingent from Carolina and
our hippie hosts had very different mean-
ings for the term "relief work."We still
didn't feel that we were really making a
By this point it had become abundantly
clear that there wasn't enough work in
Chauvin for our group. Don't get me
wrong, Chauvin needed help, but there
wasn't enough work to sustain 70 people.
Some folks were growing restless, and the
UNC project's leaders had worked the
phones all day to find somewhere else for
us to go.
Welcome to the war zone
Shortly before dinner on Monday, we
received word that through contacts with
Campus Crusade, arrangements had been
made for us to head to New Orleans for
the rest of the week.
Before we left, we faced two daunting
challenges. One was getting our American
Express card back from the hippies (they'd
been using it for groceries for our