Carleen Hughes a Marketing Student from The University of Ulster interning at USG/ International. Greenwood Lake, New York.
"Upon arriving in Mississippi, most of us were unsure of what to expect, as everyone had their own perceptions of Southern America, from what they had seen on Television. One thing I can say is that everyone was made to feel right at home from the minute we landed at Louis Armstrong Airport by both the staff and the locals.
Throughout our stay in Bay St. Louis, the Southern hospitality was second to none. We ate most nights at the Gleeson’s, a couple, who are great friends of Project Children. Each night, they opened up their home to us, provided a large buffet of food, and kept the drink flowing, a feast fit for a King! One of the nights we ate there, they invited their neighbors and friends to a garden party. It was amazing to meet people from different cultural backgrounds. Listening to their stories about Hurricane Katrina was extremely interesting and I think that everyone gained a further insight into what it was like to live through the conditions during that time.
We were all overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of John and Jane-Ann Gleeson. They were lovely hosts, and made everyone feel right at home. If it weren’t for their kindness and good will, I think that our time on the building site would have been a lot tougher.
During our time on the building site in Bay St Louis, we had the pleasure of meeting the family whose house we were building. Their positivity and optimistic outlook, after the hurricane, gave us all the determination and drive to work harder when we felt like giving up. Overall, I definitely enjoyed my time in Mississippi, it was an experience I will never forget, and will go on to talk about for many years."