Ok so the first week went by really slow and I was like “ok, week two, now this is going to take forever”. Biola contextualized it best when she kept harping on the subject Friday, “I swear to god it was like yesterday was Monday”, she kept muttering. She was spot on. I cannot believe it’s over; I’m here in Houston, going over the trip in my mind. I mean there were some great moments, Bourbon Street was pretty crazy at times, but it got cheesy after a while, it was a bit too touristy. Frenchman and the French Quarter were epic. I loved the Jazz places we visited. I’m trying to pick a favourite moment, but I can’t. I loved how cheap everything was, but I still think drive-through daiquiris as great as they are, are still ridiculous. I appreciate all the connections we’ve made and what we have done, but there is so much more work to be done here. It’s ridiculous that people do not still have homes. I lucked out again and ended up working at another house for almost the entire week. I enjoyed talking to the couple (Stacey and Michael); it was great to see a house that was almost finished; they had the gas turned on the day before our last day. They were very hospitable, they cooked barbeque for us the first day we came by and told us we could swim in their pool whenever we wanted. Their experience with Katrina was horrible – they almost lost their kids in the flood and had to go all over America as internally displaced persons trying to survive. Yet, they were very optimistic they saw Katrina as something that was ambivalent and their perspective on the hurricane was different from some and maybe most; they saw it as a blessing, because they now own a house (it was given to them after Katrina by Mike’s dad who didn’t want to work on it because it was an almost impossible project and after five years now it’s still not complete, almost, but not yet).

Touching back on this last week again, it did go by very fast. I really liked the last dinner, and No the markers weren’t permanent so everything on my skin did wash off. Oh and I love that Natalia adopted Nola, I think she (ok he) is just gorgeous. I ended up spending like an hour in Gate C just to play with Nola – so long that I almost missed my flight.

Best,

Onur

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