Eaglie's Aviary

Friday, August 01, 2003

Being the sole Ignatian summer blogger (as far as I know) is a tough job. The world is hostile to us pasty-skinned non-jocks. We work hard, do good deeds, and come home to write about them. Many of us do not even have to come home since we're already there.

Eaglie's Farewell (for now):
Well, I'll be away for a week. I am going to help America's poor, tired, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, and wretched refuse of our teeming shore. I am going... to Harlan, Kentucky, the tailbone of the spine of the East Coast. It's Appalachia, baby! In reaction to the information regarding my trip, one person said, I quote, "Kentucky?!" Actually, several people said that. Actually, everyone said that, and always in a manner that would be insulting if I were from Kentucky (of course, I'm not). I will be in a great conservative stronghold, hopefully hiding my liberalism enough to not get tarred-and-feathered.
The ride down there will be fun. I get to go down there in a vehicle right behind an ordained Jesuit and a Texas Anglican ex-marine, a combination soon to be seen in the fall lineup on CBS. And the trip is eight hours, instead of a manageable 1/2 hour show! I'm also not supposed to fall asleep (I'm ducking out of the trip if they apply Chinese water torture to keep us from sleep). No technology allowed: I'm supposed to talk to people and watch the scenery. Thank God I'm amused by endless fields of wheat and grain. I'll even have time to brush up on some standup, though I can't make fun of hicks like normal. They'll be watching.
While in Harlan, I'm supposed to build houses. Or well, I suppose the contractors and construction workers will build the houses. We get to stand around, get dehydrated and sunburnt, and get to try to put in insulation with the 3 contruction workers laughing at our attempts to cope with the asbestos. By the way, the weather report for Harlan is actually one of the most boring in the world. It's hot, sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and no one really gives a damn anymore. Once in a while, the heat may subside for a tornado.
I get two-three minute showers down there, and probably I won't be able to use even that everyday. There's a water shortage down there, so there'll be an ungodly smell emanating from the bunks by the end of the week. I also have to learn to cook down there. Best I can do right now is Kraft E-Z-Mac. I pray to God they have Kraft E-Z-Mac down there.
So, this will be goodbye for now. I hope to be back in a week. I am required to keep a journal, and so I will be keeping one throughout the trip (maybe I'll put a few entries on the Aviary). It should be the most interesting lump of tree flesh I'll be bringing back. I'm also required to pray and worship God on this trip. Though, by the end of it, you may find me worshipping a working showerhead.