Sunday, March 11, 2012

Joplin's in my heart: my experience so far

Today was our first full day in Joplin, and it has been great so far. I was woken up by Jorge yelling--so I threw my pillow at him! haha--then we all had pancakes for Breakfast which were yummy, and then headed out for a drive through town to see where the tornado hit down, and created destruction to peoples homes, businesses, churches, schools,cars, and even lawns. It took the lives and livelihoods of so many here in Joplin, and to see that first hand was overwhelming. We stopped at where Joplin High originally was and saw how uprooted and destroyed the building and neighborhood is. It honestly was so shocking to see just how bad it really is here--the pictures you see don't give it justice. I saw homework and textbooks on the ground still in tact from being thrown around.  It was just very emotional to see and experience what a natural disaster looks like first hand, and what these people go through every day.  This is honestly a huge learning experience and I am so happy to be a part of this. I am going to have memories of all the people we have met so far (the man who helped us pay for some of our meal at Pizza Hut, just to say thank you, the manager of Pizza hut who lost 6 friends and 2 employees in the tornado, Scott the director of Project 195, and locals from the airport and town) and I know we have many more to meet before we leave. I just can't express enough how powerful this experience has been so far--and I can't wait to see how the rest of the trip goes. --As we just got back from cleaning and painting the other volunteer house, its time to eat din din--so I'm signing off now--but I just want to say I love our group, the people here in Joplin, and the opportunity we have been given. Love, Mary

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