Well what can I say? This experience is almost near its end and its been quite a ride. I feel like I’ve jumped on the fastest roller coaster in a theme park, and I’ve gone through so many ups and downs. While this experience has been truly amazing, there have certainly been times when its been difficult to deal with my emotions and process everything that I have been witnessing.

Going to Alabama to help volunteer in the tornado disaster relief truly changed my outlook on this whole experience. The work we participated in at the warehouses was rewarding, as it was for a great cause, yet it was also quite challenging. My emotions really hit me hard when I witnessed the destruction and damage from the tornadoes in Alabama. Not only did it make me feel extremely homesick, but it made me realize how unfortunate this disaster was, and that so many innocent people lost their homes and even their lives. I never expected to get very emotional on this trip, but going to Alabama made me see things more clearly as to how disasters can truly impact a community.

I’m finally getting the opportunity to participate in the St. Bernard Project this week, and so far its been a great time. I’m learning a lot about what it takes to rebuild a home, and how awesome it truly is to help accomplish a rebuilding project. The homeowner also came to visit us during work, and it was touching to hear how grateful she and her family are towards us for helping in the rebuilding process of their home. I feel now that I’m finally getting the chance to give back to those less fortunate, and I have to say, it feels pretty damn good to put smiles on people’s faces.

I will admit that I am anxious to return back home to Canada, but I am so thankful that I can be here in New Orleans and help do my part in making a difference in the community. This experience is not quite over yet, but I am ready to finish what I started in this amazing life experience.

Noah Iannetta