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“This Might Be a Dumb Question, But is Mississippi Down?”

Sunday, Feb. 27:

Today we woke up to the glorious sound of California Swag’s “Teach Me How to Dougie.” As we were getting our things together, Jess found a letter on the kitchen counter from Youth Room Director Kyle Beecher. The note informed us that there was an extra room with five extra couches we had been unaware of. Ironically enough, five people had been forced to sleep on the hard tile floor.

In an attempt to get to know each other better, David created a system of pulling names out of a hat to create a buddy system. Although it didn’t work out quite as we planned, a few people still switched around in the vans. This allowed new stimulating conversations to ensue, even though for the majority of the trip down to Biloxi, Miss., a lot of sleeping took place. Erin and David, however, were forced to battle the flat roads and roaring winds of Alabama.

After several hours of travel, we finally arrived in Biloxi. The first lesson learned was: NDC vans do not fit in Sonic parking spots.

After our Sonic experience, we traveled to our orientation at Habitat for Humanity. We received our t-shirts, watched a special safety video, and met some of the supervisors and other groups working down here. Those of us who have gone on Habitat trips before commented that they have never seen so many volunteers at a site. We are very anxious to see how all of these people will be split up efficiently.

This leads to our living situation. When we arrived at our camp, which is a church with a maze of rooms, we discovered that eight of us will be sleeping in dorm-sized bungalows. We also found out there are two more groups staying here, with another group arriving tomorrow. Much to our dismay, there are only three showers to accommodate over 50 people. This living situation is not what we had expected and at first everyone was a little upset about it. However, we realized that we are here to volunteer and help others, and that is what is most important.

After getting all of our stuff settled in at the site, we decided to explore Biloxi. We went down to the beach and walked along the pier. The second lesson learned was: Notre Dame students do not know a fish from a shark.

We found David soaking up the last rays of sunshine on the sand and dying to catch the sunset. Instead, he enjoyed the view of being surrounded by the now hungry group members, who were trying to decide between the famous pizza at Mellow Mushroom or some fine Mexican cuisine at El Saltillo.

After a long rock, paper, scissors debate, the group decided on some Mexican dining. David offered to pay for Maria’s dinner if she ordered in Spanish, but Maria saved him some embarrassment and pocket change by informing him that she not only is fluent in Spanish, but the menu was also written in Spanish. Everyone had great food and a great time.

After dinner we returned to the camp site where everyone took some time to shower and relax. We then gathered and reflected on the past day’s events. The group also decided that tomorrow we will travel to New Orleans for our day off. Everyone is extremely excited for adventures in Louisiana.

More to follow!