Sunday, March 24, 2013

Michaela Arthur

*Blog originally posted on trip*

     It seems like yesterday we woke up early on a cold Saturday morning to get to the airport for our Mississippi Adventure. Now that our trip is almost over, it is amazing how far this group has come. We entered the airport as friends and I can assure you we will leave Biloxi as a family. We have become even closer as a group, and everu single person on this team inspires me!  Each day I am more and more grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with such a special and passionate group of people. 
     Going into this trip, I thought we would be helping with coast line restoration from the effects of the BP Oil Spill; however, most of our tasks have revolved around restoration projects resulting from various hurricanes, but mainly Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac. It still baffles me that after almost eight years, the people in this area are still trying to pick up the pieces from these natural disasters. On several projects, we drove through neighborhoods and street ways that were completely wiped out and have not had the finances to rebuild. There were neighborhoods that were swept away by twenty foot storm surges and all that was left were piles of brick and a few pieces of wood to mark their property line. I have seen these images on TV, but it puts everything into perspective when you see it with your own eyes. Listening to everyone’s story has helped me realize that even after all this time, people still need our help, and I am honored to be working with this group of individuals to help this area cope with the difficulties they continue to face.   
     The tasks we have completed this far have been small, but something this trip has taught me is that small things add up to much bigger things. On Wednesday, we worked with Marty who is working on a project to help prevent erosion on Deer Island in Mississippi (here's the link to his website: Marty is one of the hardest working people I have met and he only has four men working for him, but his project is labor instensive and requires much more help. We helped Marty bag about 800 bags of Oyster shells needed to complete his project and to us that seemed like such a small number compared to the eight thousand bags he needed in total to complete the project.  Regardless of how much we did, Marty was so thankful for our help. He personally thanked each and every one of us and hugged us all for the work we did. Granted we only helped him with a small portion of his project, he made us feel like we moved mountains! And that small portion we did will add to something bigger in the future.
      The lessons I have learned on the trip are life lessons I will always carry with me forever. Everyone has a story, and we have learned so much from each other as a group and from people within the community. And although we are only doing small things, someday these small stepping stones will create something much bigger! I am so grateful to be a part of this experience and I want to send a big thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way!

Love you all!
Michaela Arthur
Class 2013

1 comment:

  1. Michaela, you are so right that the small things lead to big things. Thank you for sharing!!