Hello everyone,

Just days to go before our departure and I have to admit that I’m a nowhere near ready but I am very excited!  The last of my Final Exams are all that stand between me and New Orleans and while its seems like a mountain of work that I have to get through before that happens, knowing what lays ahead of me gives me the motivation to push through hours of studying with enthusiasm.

I had a wonderful opportunity to taste a little of what I can expect the other night when Group 1 got together to meet at Jack Astor’s.  Standing in a room of semi-strangers it was interesting how eager everyone was to introduce themselves and to bond with their fellow volunteers.  While we may not know one another very well now, there is a shared understanding that we are about to take part in once in a lifetime experience.  From the discussions and the way everyone got along so well, it is obvious to me that this will be a great experience not only because of the bonds we’re about to make with one another but with the opportunity we are being given to make a difference in the lives of people we have never met before.

Personally, I know that the days we spend in New Orleans will be filled with hard physical labor and that we will hear some stories that will break our hearts but I look forward to sharing in the lives of people who have been affected both by the hurricane and the oil spill and hopefully give them something in return that will brighten their lives beyond the few days that we are there.

This is a unique opportunity – one that I will carry with me the rest of my life and everyday that I study and complete another exam, I feel my stress being washed away by excitement to begin this journey.

Sara Nemati