Monday, May 29, 2006

To Pearlington I Go

I'm headed to Pearlington, MS this morning where I'm going work off and on this summer as a volunteer. Pearlington was absolutely wiped out by Katrina. The only business currently open there is a bar that is operating out of a tent. It once had a gas station, a grocery store, a bank, and a post office. All of that is gone now as are most of the houses.

I have to admit I'm pretty nervous about volunarily giving up things like flushing toilets and hot showers to camp out 70 miles away from my home, but the needs are tremendous in Pearlington, and I feel very humbled when I consider how the people there have been living all year.

Still, it's only about 25 miles from Slidell, and I'm not above burning up $3.00 a gallon gas in search of a clean bathroom. :)

Have a good summer, blogland. I'll see you soon. Probably very soon. My heart wants to help my neighbors as much as possible, but my back wants to come home and sleep in its own bed as much as possible.

4 comments:

Rosa G. said...

Take care of yourself, Sharon. You do what you can, and that's enough. I think that your writing about the situation is valuable and will be valuable in the years to come.

Joanna

Mike @ Vitia said...

That's awesome, Sharon. I hope you'll post updates for us. You're doing something terrific, and I'd like to hear more about it.

Especially after your brilliant CCCC presentation, you know that narrative works, and that people are hungry for it. Dr. Daisy's proposed dissertation project illustrates the ways in which the daily lived experience of political projects associated with Katrina's aftermath offer not only local but global implications. Could there be productive intersections between your work and Daisy's? I hope so.

Could comp as a discipline learn from those intersections?

Absolutely. Please, by all means, keep us up to date.

Sharon Gerald said...

Thanks, Mike and Joanna. I stayed two days for my first week as a volunteer. I've realized that 2-3 days a week is probably as much as I can do and still keep up with the online class I'm teaching, my preparations for fall, and various other responsibilities.

Even in two days, though, I stayed so busy I don't even know where to start telling about it. I took a few pictures. I plan to keep taking more pictures, and I think at some point I might take a digital voice recorder and collect some of the survivor stories.

Once I've done a little disaster relief on my on house, I'll try to write up some stuff about the people I met and the conditions they are facing.

Rosa G. said...

Sounds like you're being sensible about what you can handle--that's a good thing. I agree with Mike about your work and Daisy's work being so important right now. You all are living through history in a way that we aren't in other parts of the country. The digital tape recorder sounds good--it would be great to find a way to get you a grant to spend the next semester working on it in part or in whole.

J