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Everybody’s Kitchen January 29, 2009

Posted by dianehuhn in Relief Work.
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So I’ve had some new neighbors for a while here at the Little Caillou Gym. A group known as Everybody’s Kitchen arrived on the Bayous shortly after Gustav and Ike hit southern Louisiana. They came to work with the community and have been serving up much-needed hot, nutritious meals for residents affected by the storms. Originally the group was stationed in Bayou Point-aux-Chenes (one of the 5 Bayous of lower Terrebonne Parish where I live), but about 6 weeks ago they parked their bus equipped with a full kitchen and pitched their tents in my front yard.

Everybody’s kitchen has been in existence since 1992, traveling all over the country working with those in need. But rather than trying to describe what they mean to the citizens of the 5 Bayous, please watch the video below from Fluxview, USA which will do a much better job than I can. They could really use support to continue their mission, so if you are so moved, please help the cause. Information on how to lend your support can be found at the end of the video or visit them on MySpace.

“I Caught a …” January 27, 2009

Posted by dianehuhn in Ramblings.
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So I caught a cold. And normally that’s the kind of thing I think of when I think of the phrase “I caught a …”. That or maybe “I caught a fish” or “I caught a football.” But people on the Bayou catch a lot of things. Often the phrase is used to describe medical issues such as “I caught a headache”, “he caught a stroke”, “she caught a broken leg”, etc. But the phrase is just as frequently used to describe a wide variety of other, usually negative, life events such as “I caught a flat”, “he caught the bridge”, “she caught an electrical fire”, “they caught an accident.” So I’m not particularly sure about the pyschological roots behind the extensive use of this phrase on the Bayou, but for today I’m thinking I’m pretty lucky that the worst thing I’ve caught is a cold.

Where Are You? January 19, 2009

Posted by dianehuhn in Big Fun on the Bayou, Coastal Restoration, Relief Work, Travels.
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OK, so I realize I’ve definitely been slacking off on the blog front. And although it’s a little late for a New Year’s resolution, I pledge to do a much better job of keeping everyone up-to-date so I can stem the daily tide of emails and phone calls that start “Where are you? Is everything alright? I kept checking your blog and was getting worried.”

I returned to Chauvin, LA on December 29th after a very enjoyable and relaxing (albeit cold and snowy) 2 weeks in Michigan. The photo below should give you a good idea of how I spent my Christmas vacation and why I’m happy to be back on the Bayou.

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Since our office was closed until after New Years, I took advantage of my free time to take in the sights with trips to the World War II Museum and the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, the Barataria Wildlife Preserve in Marrero, and the Abita Brewery in Abita Springs. Also spent New Year’s Eve at a bonfire enjoying fireworks and shrimp spaghetti. YUM! I did realize, however, that I am getting old. I decided that I was getting pretty tired and ready head home to crawl into bed. As I headed to the car I knew it wasn’t midnight yet, but I figured it must have been at least 10:30-11:00 PM. As I started the car, I was shocked when I looked at the clock on the radio and it read 8:39 PM. So I guess my days of being a late night party animal are gone.

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I had the pleasure last weekend of attending a Rebuilding Lives Summit in Lake Charles. I made the nearly 3 hour trip to the summit on a bus with about 40 people from Terrebone and Lafourche Parishes and we joined another 200 or so people from other areas of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast to discuss how to address the most pressing issues affecting people recovering from Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. It was a great experience to learn more about what’s happening, and unfortunately in some cases what’s not happening, to help people recover from these storms and why it’s so important to restore our coastal areas to mitigate the devastation of future storms.

This week I also had the opportunity to attend an event to learn more about the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act that is calling on the federal government to provide job training and create at least 100,000 jobs in the Gulf Coast to rebuild homes, public infrastructure, and community resources, as well as promote sustainable development and environmental restoration and ensure equitable working conditions. For more information, visit the Equity and Inclusion Campaign website here, or the Gulf Coast Civic Works Program website here.

This past week we were also honored to have two volunteer groups from Illinois with us. Both groups have worked with us in the past and were able to make huge progress on two different rebuilding projects we’ve been working on.It’s always so wonderful to have such dedicated, energetic, and caring people working together for the mission.

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For more pictures of my recent adventures, click the links below:

World War II Museum

Audubon Zoo

Barataria Preserve

Abita Brewery

And before I forget, wishing Bethany great success in the Houston Marathon today! You go girl!!!