Okay so today is day 4 of the trip and day 1 for volunteering with the St. Bernard project. Today we were assigned to do demolition work at an elementary school that had up to 12 feet of water! While working in this school I had a mixture of emotions which included discomfort, excitement and concern. I was discomforted by the fact that this was once a place where students in the community attended where they made friends, did crafts read books and had teachers to look up to as role models. After Katrina hit the school, everything was destroyed physically and emotionally for the children and families and associated with this elementary school. We also went on a tour of New Orleans which was conducted by a very knowledgeable lady by the name of Rose, who I personally think had a different perspective on Hurricane Katrina and the race and class intersections. On this tour we  visited the lower 9th ward and once again I was sitting with feelings of discomfort as it seemed that many houses were abandonded and the sense of neighborhood and community were lost. On the extreme flip side of things, the nightlife in New Orleans is CRAZY! I feel that this place is really distinct in terms of the way they party which is basically on the street open drinking and loud jazz music while throwing beeds, many people can pinpoint us out as being “outsiders” which I dont really know why it is? maybe the way we dress or the “accent.” Anyways, I am looking forward to the next 11 days of this trip !

Peace

Joanie

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