It’s hard to believe that a week and a half has gone by already. It feels like just yesterday that we were arriving at the airport. Touring through the city over the first couple of days, it was really shocking to see that amount of devastation and destruction that still remains from Hurricane Katrina. We spent the majority of our first week drywalling a house in the eastern end of St. Bernard Parish, and it was amazing to see the difference we made in such a short time. Monday morning we walked into the shell of a house….by Friday it looked like a home.
While its now nearly five years on from Katrina and New Orleans is still in the process of rebuilding, another disaster is now threatening the region just offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. As we’ve learned in the past week, a huge number of people in New Orleans face the prospect of losing their livelihoods when the oil washes up on shore. On Saturday we drove an hour east down the coast to Mississippi to visit the Ship Islands. We were lucky to experience the beauty of the islands when we did; tar balls and dead wildlife have been found washed up on the islands for the past week. On a tour of the swamps just West of New Orleans we learned from our tour guide that the oil was expected in the area within 3 days.
All in New Orleans is truly an amazing city. As much as Canadians like to deride Americans for a whole host of reasons, there can be few places in the world where the people are as friendly as they are in New Orleans. Add to that drive-through daiquiris and bars that never seem to close……….I love this city!