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Turkey, Dressing, and a Side of Shingles Please November 17, 2008

Posted by dianehuhn in Relief Work.
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So right now, everything is about the Thanksgiving Roofing Blitz that starts on Saturday November 22 and runs through Wednesday November 26. During this time, we’ll have an average of 75 volunteers a day working to rebuild or repair over 15 roofs for residents of the bayou communities. It’s been a lot of work to get all the details in order, but Marlo and Amy from Hands On New Orleans have done an outstanding job of keeping the rest of us yahoo’s (well, maybe just this yahoo) on track.

Please click the link below for a nice article in today’s Houma Courier by Laura McKnight about the Thanksgiving Roofing Blitz and don’t forget that there’s still plenty of time to make your tax deductible donation:

http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20081116/ARTICLES/811130244

Sorry, not a lot of time for pictures or writing this week, but here’s a nice shot of me and my sister Sue on her birthday at the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Camp in Pearlington, MS. I’m very proud of my new camo cargo shorts! I’m starting to fit right in on the bayou, but I still refuse to get an LSU sweatshirt.

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A Weekend Tourist November 10, 2008

Posted by dianehuhn in Big Fun on the Bayou, Friends, Paddling, Travels.
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I had an enjoyable weekend being a tourist in my new backyard. On Saturday, I took Mark and Debbie to the French Quarter. The only time other time they had been in New Orleans was when they got lost in a not so nice section of town at night, and, well, let’s just say it wasn’t a pleasant experience for them, so I wanted to show them the joy of NOLA. We had a good time walking around the Quarter, taking in the sights, the sounds, and the smells. And, of course, a little coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde. Yeah, baby! For pictures, click here.

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This morning, after opening the Houma Courier and reading a nice article about Natalie Bergeron, our Wellness and Community Outreach Coordinator at Bayou Grace, I headed on down the bayou to LUMCON (Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium). On my way back, I stopped and had coffee with Mr. Moe and Miss Enola, then headed over to the Chauvin Sculpture Garden. It was incredible! Then I grabbed a bite to eat and headed out in my kayak down the Petit Caillou Bayou, which is the bayou I live on. For pictures from my adventures today, click here.

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All in all, a wonderful way to spend a weekend in Southern Louisiana!

Please check out the article about Natalie. Natalie has a true heart of gold. I could go on and on about what an amazing person she is, and how blessed I am to work with her, but click below and you’ll get the picture, and also get to read a few of my comments regarding Natalie.

http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20081109/ARTICLES/811099986

For another article featuring Natalie and her hurricane relieft efforts, visit:

http://blogs.oxfamamerica.org/index.php/2008/09/19/storms-mud-and-no-jobs-whats-next/

Also, if you’re interested in learning more about LUMCON or the Chauvin Sculpture Garden, click the links below:

http://www.lumcon.edu/

http://www.nicholls.edu/folkartcenter/

A Trip to Pearlington, MS November 8, 2008

Posted by dianehuhn in Friends, Hurricanes, Relief Work, Travels.
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This week I had the honor and pleasure of visiting a group of 70+ volunteers at the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Camp in Pearlington, MS. The group is made up of members of various churches from the Detroit Presbytery. This is their 6th mission trip to Pearlington, but 7th trip providing hurricane relief in the Gulf Coast. Last spring the group worked in Terrebonne Parish, LA. I joined them on that trip and it’s the reason I am on the bayou now.

It was a most wonderful experience to see all the work they’ve accomplished thus far, and know that they will continue to do great things for the citizens of Pearlington and the surrounding communities. It was great to see old friends and make new ones. And it was terrific to celebrate with my sister Sue on her 60th birthday!

Miss Alice and My Big Sis. Happy Birthday Sue!

Miss Alice and My Big Sis. Happy Birthday Sue!

I was so encouraged by what I witnessed. The motto of PDA is “Out of chaos, hope.” Everyday as I experience the chaos left by Gustav and Ike on the bayous, I am doing my best to remember that motto.

Please explore the website that the group created during their stay in Pearlington at:

http://katrina7.joyfullyserving.com/index.html

For pictures of my trip, click here.

The Attack of the Bayou Gremlins Continue November 2, 2008

Posted by dianehuhn in Friends, Ramblings, Relief Work.
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Well, another week has passed and it’s hard to comprehend that I’ve only been here for 6 weeks. It certainly seems much longer. Our most recent group of AmeriCorp volunteers left Friday, and while it’s great to have volunteers to help us accomplish our goals, it’s good to have a little break since we are knee-deep in preparations for a Thanksgiving Roofing Blitz. Our goal is to rebuild/repair at least 15 roofs. Exactly how we are going to pull this off, I haven’t figured out yet, but we’re certainly going to do our best to make it happen. If you know of a chruch or organization that would be interested in becoming a “Thanksgiving Angel”, please give us a call at 985-594-5350 or email me at volunteer_bayougrace@yahoo.com. To download our Roofing Blitz flyer, click roofing-blitz-flyerpdf1. We’ve also recently launched our first newsletter. If you would like to receive this, please email Danny at gedbayougrace@yahoo.com.

The “Bayou Gremlins” continue to make things somewhat frustrating for me. Earlier this week I was overjoyed to receive a laptop connect card so I could get regular Internet access in my motor home and while out in the field. I started to install the device on my work computer, but it got hung up and, as usual I got a phone call that required my immediate attention, so I just stopped the process. Then later that evening, I decided I would try to do the installation on my personal laptop since I didn’t want to risk something going wrong with my work laptop. Good thing. I went through the whole process, clicking “Yes”, clicking “Next”, and so forth. Finally, I got the “Yahoo, you’ve successfully installed your new device, so just re-start you’re computer and you’ll be good to go” message. With great anticipation, I clicked the “Yes, please re-start my computer” button. Long story short, now my computer won’t boot. It’s so bad that I’m not even getting the blue screen of death, I’m getting the black screen of death!

I did get a chance to have a little fun this week. I went fishing with Mike and Darryl and caught my first speckled trout. Darryl caught 25 trout and 2 redfish. Mike–well, better luck next time. For Halloween I went over to Natatlie’s house and had a great time eating barbequed hamburgers, green sausage, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing hundreds of treat-or-treaters. Yesterday, Julie, Ben, and another gentleman from Detroit were in the area and I took them on a little tour of Point-aux-Chenes and Isle de Jean Charles, two areas devestated by Gustav and Ike. In a couple of days, I’ll be heading up to Pearlington, MS, where they are staying at the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance camp for the next week. I’m looking foward to catching up with old friends and making new ones, and giving my Big Sis Sue a great big hug!

Well, I’m not sure how much longer the Bayou Gremlins are going to allow me to keep this wireless signal, so I’d better not press my luck. Click below for a rather brief retrospective of the last 6 weeks I’ve spent in Terrebonne Parish. For more Week 6 pics, click here.