(written at 9pm CST on Tuesday 10/18/2005)

This morning, we officially donated the Chevy Blazer to the Waveland Animal Control.  They accepted it with open arms.  I took pictures of us handing over the keys.  But actually, we still own the truck until Friday.  We still want to be able to drive around until Friday.

I can’t believe I’m down to the last two full days here.  I feel like I’m just really getting started and starting to understand things.  I almost wish it wasn’t time to leave, but at the same time, I’m so ready for some downtime.

We took the last of the non-clothes donations to St. Clare, more food and some feminine products.  I took pictures of the new school.  We also donated a wrench set to the lady who does the maintenance for St. Clare.  She’s going to assemble school desks soon.

After St. Clare we walked around Waveland Cemetery.  City Hall went in the day after the hurricane to clean up.  None of the graves had been disturbed by the flood waters.

I thought I was finally going to break down crying (note:  I haven’t cried once about the hurricane) when I saw a grave of a child who had died in dec of 04 at the age of 3 months.  His birthday would have been Oct 15.  The family left about 10 toys at the grave and a slice of birthday cake in a container near the tombstone.  I really started tearing up.  It was the most emotional thing I’ve seen since I’ve been there.

Next, we found the house that a blog reader had asked me to find.  She found their dogs at a shelter.  So, I left a note at their house and at the neighbor’s trailer.

That afternoon I went to the Gulfport Airport to pick up the two daughters of the childhood babysitter.  They hadn’t been back since Katrina hit, so it was a pretty shock for them to drive through Waveland.  We ate at TIG Fridays in Gulfport.  The waitress was from Florida helping out.  She said that she was very lucky that she had friends down here that she could stay with.

That evening, Kyle and I decided to go down Coleman to the old pier (where there’s beach parking) to fly kites.  I walked down the pier (the road part), and it looked like someone had just melted the entire road.  It was like the road was melted with bubbles and twists, if that makes sense (the photos will tell all). 

Then I saw a guy walk up to Kyle on the beach.  He noticed the WA license plates and asked, “Are you a local?” and Kyle said, “no, but my wife is.”  And he said, “Are you Kyle?”  He’s a reporter that had contacted me via my blog about doing a doc on the Waveland recovery.  He’s located out of Portland, so we’re going to try to go in together with selling our story to the NBC affiliates in Portland and Seattle (King5).

We took him for dinner to the Waveland Café for the full Waveland experience.  Apparently, I’m famous there since I had someone I never met say, “So you’re the Microsoft girl.”  The staff at Waveland Café told me today that they serve 3500-4000 meals a day.  There are only 160+ residents in Waveland right now, so they are feeding a lot of hungry workers, residents, families of residents, and so forth.

Tomorrow, we’re going to try to donate the clothes to a church in Diamondhead.  Then we’ll sync up with the Portland reporter and get some videos made.