Monday, May 25, 2009
By Vonnie Jones - Clinical Assistant II
Mid-Atlantic Health Plan - West End, DC
Tonight is the 2nd night in Biloxi, Mississippi, with HandsOn Gulf Coast. We had a special speaker come in to talk to us about her experience during hurricane Katrina, our Project Manager Tristan Herkimer's ex-wife, Nancy Herkimer.
Listening to her account of what took place brought back memories of all the photos we saw on television, and the feelings that I had at that time. There is a saying that time heals wounds and she clearly sounds like she has moved on, and gotten her life back together.
Talk about ghosts: I had a sister that passed away years ago named Katrina. Hearing that name always brought back pleasant memories of my little sister. Now when I hear that name my thought is not just of my sister, my thoughts go back to August, 2005. It is midnight and Tristan and I are sitting here talking and he tells me that an estimated 1,800 people passed away in this disaster; what loss.
I think that people that go into health care go into it because we value life and one life lost is too many. I was very grateful when Kaiser gave me the opportunity to come not once but twice more as a Project Manager. I saw the eagerness in the eyes of all the new volunteers and I remember how motivated I was the first time and every time. These people came to work and the first day on the site they showed they meant business. We did renovation on a house that has historical value in this area. We are restoring its natural beauty. It will soon be used as a visitor center. Why did we come to Mississippi to do this you may ask? We are doing it because the people in the area need to work and get on with their lives and we came to help rebuild this community and help in any way that they ask. I did some research on the house and land and I think it was once owned by a slave. Hands on is having a person from Land Trust come in and talk to us tomorrow about the history of it. Hopefully the next blogger will have more to tell you about it tomorrow.
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