Mississippi Moments

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tofu is pigs'toes, right? It AIN'T?!? What iz it then? Soy, what's dat? You mean, it's growin' right here in Jonestown and you eat that stuff?!? Uh-unh!
That was the end of yesterday's Girls to Women lesson in nutrition. They still don't know what protein is. Someone said a Slushie and Chips. I said No. unless it was a lentil slushie. Then one of the quieter girls said, "pork"? I said yes. Then someone said turkey, beef, chicken, and someone else said cheetos. I said no. How about cereal. Again, no, not really. They have cooking and nutrition classes here in the spring and winter for the Girls to Women. They have a local nutrition expert come in to work with the girls. It is a good thing. We also had a conversation that went like this. (And picture in your mind that the girls don't really treat me as "white". In fact, I don't really know if they think of me in those terms some of the time). K- out of the blue said rather offendedly-"Miz Ern-this white woman at our school-in P.E. -she tried to tell us that of all the kids in the U.S., we were the fattest in the country, right here in Coahoma county in Jonestown.Whatchuthinkodat? All are staring at what I will say about that white woman who would say such a thing. I said (after a pause)"Well, she was right." Mild pandemonium. "Whutchyoumean!?!Mih Ern! I said that some people had done some counting and observing of the kids all over the country and the kids who were in the most need of moving and eating better lived here in MS, spicifically Jonestown. And then I said and look at what you are doing everyday-playing sports, running, dancing, working out, drinking lots of water, learning to cook better...they still didn't believe it. It was kind of telling on the second day this week when one of the newer girls to the program was huffing and kind of the wrong color. Turns out she was wearing a girdle under her sweats......I haven't seen one of those since I was 7.
We took the children up to the Tunica River Museum today. The ranger who was leading the convoy kept getting lost on the way because he is not from around here, so what was a 45 minute ride up was closer to an hour and a half. We had a snak, a short walk along the Eco-walk looking for snakes, spider webs, gators, and mockingbirds. Saw plenty of spiderwebs. The museum was a hit for the children, especially the aquariums filled with turtles, fish, snakes, catfish, etc. We made a scavenger hunt up for them based on the official one that the Museum puts out. I think it was a hit. Then the Levee Board treated us to Subway lunch. Then we all had a long nap on the way back and set up for Girls to Women. Played some more basketball today and watched the girls rehearse their dance number. I received word today that I was accepted into my doctoral program and that begins this September. We'll see what comes with that. I am a little down today. Looking around here, it is easy to get discouraged by the general lack of care in the area where children play and it has been that way whenever I come. I get mad when we go into the tennis courts and there are broken bottles in there. The park is loaded with broken glass, sharp objects, drug paraphenalia...and kids are supposed to play there? The Youth Group from Assumption St. BRidget is there this week putting in a play structure. It is attracting a lot of local attention. They are also helping to put in bathrooms at another community center that has been without plumbing and running water for three years. The TV people came back this week and did a follow-up on the poor state of things out in 'the projects". It was a drama number and a way to get their "Problem SOlver" looking good. IT was all the talk on the bus today and it made some of the kids in from the projects mad. And I quote" Just because we poor, doesn't mean we stupid and dirty. My mamma keeps us clean. We have respect. We good kids." One good thing this whole thing did was bring the Mississippi Dept. of Housing into the picture and they are coming out in three weeks for a code inspection and the management company of the projects has been put on official notice. I am heading down to historic Natchez and Port Gibson for the weekend. Alone. Any takers?
IT will be fun anyhow. Turns out we can rent a car in Clarkesdale only 12 miles away. All for now!


  • At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Most sincere congratulations on your acceptance into the doctoral program. You are certainly overqualified in my book. Here's to another "Doctor Waney, Doctor WANEY, DOCTOR WANEY!!!" UF

  • At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey, I recently added a news widget from www.widgetmate.com to my blog. It shows the latest news, and just took a copy and paste to implement. Might interest you too.

  • At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    u duhz sound like you iz having fun.
    kongrats on doktor program..duhz dat meen u iz smarter den me?
    miss you but havin my own fun

  • At 12:13 AM, Anonymous coli said…

    I will go!! I like Port Wherever That Is! Congratulations on your doctoral program...that is fantastic. Captain Smartypants!! I'll make you a cape when you comme home...er...when I come home.
    love you


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