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Fond Farewells

Friday, March 4:

Our last day of work dawned upon us with a forecast of thunderstorms. But thankfully it was still warm!

Once we arrived at the work site, everyone was determined to make this last day our best day of work. Most of us continued to work on nailing wooden planks together, while making sure they were flush, of course. We split up into a few small groups because it would take about three or four people to get them just right. It eventually began to rain and Don announced that we would decide after lunch whether or not to continue.

Some of the group members decided to try a local burger joint called “Burger-Burger.” The famous Burger-Burger concoction was an 18-inch hoagie loaded with hamburger meat and a secret chili cheese sauce.

Going to these local places gave us a chance to talk to some of the local people. It’s funny to hear people ask where we are from and, when we tell them we’re from Cleveland, Ohio, they just shake their heads and sigh with sympathy for our bad weather. It is also great to hear the thanks we get from all the people we talk to for working with Habitat. You can really tell that they are grateful for what we are doing, and it is amazing to know that we are doing something that really matters.

The NDC students are proud to have made a difference.
The NDC students are proud to have made a difference.

After the Burger-Burger experience, we continued to finish our last few hours of work on the site. Work continued on nailing the wood pieces together, now making frames that would house windows. It was great to see the progress we have made throughout the week!

Finally, it was time to start our final clean up. After getting everything put away and organized, some group pictures were in order. The group got some great shots by the Habitat for Humanity work trailer and even on top of the house.

As we were about to leave, we wanted to say good-bye to Don, but he was walking around with an inspector of some kind, so we all just shouted his name and waved bye. He quickly came running and screaming that we couldn’t leave without getting a picture with all of us. After a now complete group picture, Don gave hugs to everyone and thanked us for giving our time to help out.

With a fond farewell, we left our work site for the last time.

Everyone wanted our last night in Biloxi to be special, and special it was. We drove over to Ocean Springs to watch a Mardi Gras parade. Everyone agreed that this was the most fun parade any of us had ever been to. There were people in fun costumes and huge floats decorated in Mardi Gras colors. The people on the floats threw out candy, beads, hats and more. Hannah and Chris even met up with all of us at the parade, and joined us for a bonfire on the beach afterwards. It was a great last night in Biloxi that we all got to spend together.

This trip was definitely something that none of us will ever forget. We got to do something that not everyone gets a chance to do. We all found that what we did during the week had a huge impact on not only a single family, but a whole community. With all the devastation still left by Hurricane Katrina, it was nice to know that we had a small part in helping to fix it. That is something we will carry with us. This trip was certainly a rollercoaster. It had ups, downs, laughs, hard work, frustrations, and good memories that will last us a lifetime.

Thanks to everyone for reading and we hope you enjoyed it!