New Orleans is quite the experience. I have been lucky so far to have met some really great people on the sites that we have worked. We have only been here working for two days, and already I have had the opportunity to meet with some really amazing souls. On a walk through the Bywater district today as we were distributing flyers for the soon to open New Orleans Food Coop I had the chance to chat with a number of residents, and felt immediately at ease in the city.
What struck me however, was how empty the neighborhood felt. At least one home on every short block was unoccupied, but I couldn’t immediately see this from the outside. It wasn’t until I got close to the doors or windows that I realized how many homes in this area were actually unoccupied, and still completely destroyed inside.
This really affected me. I can’t imagine how I would feel if my own neighborhood in Toronto looked like this. The feeling of destruction is really heavy walking the streets here. I imagine that if this were my home city or neighborhood it would be really easy to get down about it all. Yet the people I have met here seem to have an unending ability to look to the positive, remain upbeat, and hold an ever-present sense of pride in their city and community.
This is truly inspiring!