So tomorrow is our last day here.  I am obviously so excited to see my family and friends and TRY to share everything I experienced here with them.  However, I don’t want to go home.  I have seen and done so much in the last two weeks and as nervous as I was to do this trip, I can’t imagine not doing it, and living this experience without any of  these amazing people.

We have worked so hard these last two weeks to help bring the people of New Orleans home, and although much of the work seemed tedious, frustrating and above all HARD we realized the importance of what we have been doing.  We may not be able to see the start to finish of a house in two weeks but we now know that we are contributing, and we are making a difference and these people are one step closer to a welcome home party and being able to call a house a home again.

We got to see someone get into their house today, after 5 years of struggle they are back to where they should be, and the look on her face and the tears in her eyes were enough for anyone to understand how much all of the hard work that helped build her home meant.  I did not work on her house, but it doesn’t matter, the gratitude and the appreciation that everyone we have met has expressed was voiced by her today, and it meant so much to all of us.

I traveled here with people I thought would just be my classmates, but I am leaving with friends, I came here expecting to do some work and get some grades and I’m leaving with inspiration, hope and some new muscles! HA!! Of course not every day was amazing, we had tough days with each other and on job sites, we have been angry, sad and confused, but at the end of it all we accomplished a lot out here, and really helped some people, and that trumps  any of the crappy feelings.  I’m still sad when I think of the situation down here, and I don’t know that, that feeling will ever go away, but I feel good about what we have done.  We met some great people and made some great friendships with the people we worked with and I can only hope we continue these friendships after we have left.

I guess I could go on forever about this city, this trip and these people both the residents of New Orleans and my classmates but I will hold off on that (mainly because I’m exhausted).  Really though, this experience is unexplainable.  I don’t want to go home, I want to stay here to finish a house and be a bigger part of the rebuilding process, but for now I will go home and tell every one of the injustice I saw, but the strength, resilience appreciation and love that I felt from these people.  No matter what the government does or DOES NOT do these people believe in their city, their home and that says something.

Everyone has to believe in something.. and they believe that they can bring this city back… I believe it to.

Miss it already…. NOLA ❤

See you in Toronto!!!!

Sarah P

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