Monday, March 20, 2006

The first thing I did today, after eating breakfast, was to call Exeter and try to get them to hire me immediately. They didn't (or, I suppose, couldn't), so I accepted the job at NMH. So I'll be teaching geometry and coaching running at Northfield-Mount Hermon summer school this summer, about an hour from Williamstown.

Today we first went to a house where there was a dead tree in the yard that would fall on the house at the next storm. One of the guys climbed up in the tree and cut pieces of off of it with a chainsaw and the other people pulled the pieces away with ropes so they wouldn't hit anything (him or the house). We cut them up and brought them over to the side of the road where someone would pick them up.

Then our group split into two, half to do interiors and half to plant sunflowers. I went to plant sunflowers. We went to a place called "Harmony House," which is built on the first piece of land in Mississippi ever owned by a black person. It has the only old-growth forest in Biloxi, and the only organic farm in Biloxi, and sort of the only small piece of nature in Biloxi. Since it was all messed up by Katrina, we are trying to fix it up.

Previously they had made this big patch of dirt shoveled up and loose so that we could plant things in it. We planted about 10 packets of "mammoth" variety sunflower seeds. The idea is that sunflowers clean the soil, so after a year of sunflowers, they can plant a garden there again. They had an herb garden before. Also, there will be beautiful sunflowers, which are really nice to look at. So we planted lots of those, and watered them, and put hay on top of them.

In the back there was a path through the forest, and it was a boardwalk with boards, and trees fell on top of it. So the three people who had used chainsaws before cut up trees with chainsaws, and the person who hadn't (me) carried the pieces and put them in the bucket of the tractor. It took a lot of trips.

When I got back I took a shower outside. The showers are enclosed, and there are some with hot and cold water, and some that are just On or Off. I had one with temperature changes. After the shower I read my book, and then my parents came and we went out to dinner again, Mexican this time. It was nice. My mother had laryngitis. We will go out tomorrow night again, becuase it is their last day here tomorrow, and they leave on Wednesday. Tomorrow I will do something with wood and trees again.

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