Well, I have been so distracted and busy with taking in everything that we have seen heard and done here in New Orleans in the last few days that I have been putting off this blog, but I figured its about time to write one.
The last few days have gone by so quickly and yet they feel like they happened so long ago. It has been an emotional last couple of days from feeling like I was in another world, to being beyond angry to sad and inspired – it’s hard to imagine that something like this could have done so much damage to a city in the United States.
Coming here, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on me – I should have known better. Although I have heard about the destruction of Katrina over the last 5 years seeing it first hand and talking to people whose lives have been directly affected is a whole other story. This city makes you want to do something, makes you want to make a difference and really appreciate life, and value home.
As for some of the stuff we have done – We got to kind of ‘live it up’ in the city this weekend, from going to Bourbon St. and enjoying the nightlife to going to the Jazzfest in the rain, it was awesome to experience the culture and a good way to start the trip. However, finally being able to start doing some work in the school on Monday morning felt amazing!!!!! Getting up at 6:30 wasn’t the highlight, but once we were out on the job, really getting our hands dirty and making a bit of difference felt indescribable. We were lucky enough to have some members of the community stop by to tell us their stories, and those to were eye-opening.
We also had a tour of New Orleans and got to see and understand a lot of the destruction that took place. What I saw on the tour along with working to help demolish a school (that will become a community centre) left me with a lot of thoughts. With all the empty schools, and all the empty houses, or staircases and cement slabs that used to be houses how do people look at these places now? What kind of memories do these places hold for them now? While looking at these places I realized that the houses we visited were not just houses they were homes where families lived, started their lives, loved and laughed. A school was not just a building but a place where a child becomes their own person and discovers themself and things about the world. It’s hard to comprehend how things could have gone so wrong, and how the government could have failed these hard-working and kind people. It’s hard not to feel emotional when seeing these things but I truly don’t think I will ever understand why this has happened.
Everyone here continues to say how much they appreciate us coming down here to help out, but honestly I appreciate everything they have already done for me. Their honesty, their stories, their grateful attitudes have all left me with memories and inspiration to really do something with, so I am grateful to them.
I guess I will leave it at that for now, because I could go on forever..but lastly… HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!