I find myself 48 hours away from actually being in New Orleans… and I still have so much to do. I know it is a common theme in the blogs that have been posted so far but it seems like this trip has came up incredibly quickly. I swear that it was just yesterday that I was sitting in class in Toronto with the rest of the students on this trip. And now here I am… feeling like I am hardly ready to go yet still wanting to be on my way so badly.
Upon reflection I have realised that my upcoming trip has been causing my to think about my past social justice centric trips to the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. I am eager to experience the communities of New Orleans and expand my understanding of the world through travel just as I have done in the past. To be brash about it: I want to witness and stand in solidarity with those who find themselves in trouble in the “developed” world. I want to try to understand the connections which exist between people who are experiencing problems as a result of social structures no matter where in the world those people may reside. Or to put it more simply I can not wait for this trip to further my understanding of structural injustice and what can be done about it within the world.
Overall, however, I simply can not wait to get there and start work. Over the past month or so I have been speaking with a friend who is a resident of New Orleans. We have talked about everything from the local geography of the city to the problems which have and currently do face many of the residents of the city (including himself). I found it so awesome to be talking to someone who is practically half way around the world about the things I had just learned in school. For me it seemed to take what we have learned in class out of the textbooks and make it absolutely real… a feeling I expect to become much more intense over the next couple of days. I can not wait to get there and get started.
I suppose that brings me full circle. I know this blog has been a bit scattered but I think that the disorganization is representative of how I am feeling right now: surprised that the trip came so fast and eager to learn and get involved. Whether I am ready for it or not: New Orleans here I come.