So it is 9:16pm. I am sitting in the computer lab at Camp Hope looking back on the past couple days. I continue to think about yesterday’s events. It was our first day at work at St. Mary of the Angels School. We worked extremely hard and got a lot of work done. What stood out the most to me about yesterday was the visit I made to the church during a restroom break. Sandy, Sarah P and myself went and talked to the secretary. She showed us pictures of the damage after the hurricane, as well as the results of the recovery. The images were of the damages to the church and the school. I was amazed at the results of the hurricane. She showed us a water line and when I stood directly under it, it was approximately 2-3ft above me head! It also astonished me that I was walking in the same halls of the church and the same classrooms of the school that was flooded and damaged five years ago. It was crazy!! I think that that was the event that really made me realize why it was so important for me to be in New Orleans, lending a hand.

I also met Frank who stated, “You will never really truly be able to comprehend what has happened here in New Orleans.” He was absolutely right. I am here to make a difference in the communities of New Orleans by lending a helping hand. I also am aware of several results of the hurricane, as well as various supports that the community has received. I watched many videos explaining the tragedy, however emotionally; I will never feel what the residents of New Orleans felt. I will never understand how it feels to stand (or struggle to swim) in 10 ft (or more) or water. I will never understand how it feels to have to rebuild my home because it was flooded and tremendously spoiled by a huge body of water. I will never understand how it feels to have to leave my pets behind due to evacuation circumstances. But I will always feel sympathetic to these individuals and value my morals that enable me to help others who are possibly very disadvantaged due to various factors, but who are also very appreciative of my efforts!

Today, Sandy, Tanika and I interviewed a fellow neighbor of St Mary of the Angels School and she stated that she was glad we were here. She referred to us as “Angels” and said if we needed her in anyway she was only down the street. Also after we completed our 3days worth of volunteer work (within 2days =) ) at St. Mary of the Angels School, a bunch of us went across the street to play with some kids who were playing in the sprinkler. They played happily with us, with HUGE smiles on their faces. In both cases (with the lady who we interviewed and the children and their parents), I felt a great sense of community. I really felt welcomed. I kind of felt at home. I find that the majority of people living in New Orleans have great spirits and work hard to ensure that others feel comfortable and I think that is what encourages me and drives me to work that much harder!

Cece

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