In the afternoon of the first day, we ended up at an Episcopalian church one block from the beach. Between the beach and the church offices stood the sanctuary. During the storm surge of the hurricane, the water was deeper than the sanctuary was tall; 40 feet high. Imagine your church sanctuary completely under water.
The office walls that faced the beach were destroyed. The newly exposed middle rooms of the office building became a collection of debris from the front rooms as well as the sanctuary from across the street.
Our job was initially retrieve the baptismal fount that was underneath the rubble in the newly exposed kitchen. After about 3 hours, we pulled the fount out of the debris but then became even more determined to clean out the remainder of the room including the industrial appliances. While some students cleaned the kitchen others cleaned other areas removing bricks, an iron gate, dishes, pine needles, dirt and artifacts from the church offices. All that was removed was piled up within 10 feet of the street so that front-loaders could collect the trash when they came through.
That night, Mike Burnett and I got our flat tire fixed from the night before’s travel. Then we ate at Wattaburger. And what a burger it was. I suggest eating at a Wattaburger if you get the chance; don’t get the large drink because it is 44 ounces. I enjoyed hanging out with Mike because we got to talk about civil rights, Ole Miss and Christians swearing. Afterwards, Mike bought his first pair of flip-flops which he plans to wear daily to his theatre classes.