I am leaving early tomorrow morning for Gulfport, Mississippi. I am flying down with three other volunteers from my church. We will be staying in a mission church for a week while we help with the re-construction of houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Gulfport suffered as much damage as New Orleans but has received much less publicity and much less federal aid than New Orleans. Most of the cleanup has been done by the residents and volunteers like us from all over the world. We will be sleeping on the floor of the church with pads and sleeping bags. The church will provide meals and facilities for showering, etc. I am somewhat apprehensive about going as I have not done 8 hours of manual labor since I was in my twenties. I just hope that I will be more of an asset than a hindrance. I don’t know what to expect as far as the damage that still remains from Katrina but I understand it is still pretty extensive. I think I read that the Federal government wants to buy 17,000 of the damaged homes in Gulfport and destroy them in order to build a barrier system to help mitigate damage from future hurricanes. I expect this trip will be a memorable one that I will look back on as one of the best things I have done in my life. Wish us all luck while we are down there.