Its Thursday. Despite my best efforts to avoid catching the illness that is circling within our crew I finally joined the stuffy nose sore throat and dry cough party. tomorrow is the final day of work for everyone as our two week New Orleans experience draws to a close. It has certainly been an unforgetable time. From working at St. Bernard Project to Magnolia School, New Orleans Food Co-op and Habitat for Humanity the days have been full of high heat and hard work. I think I speak for all of us here in saying I wouldn’t trade this time we have spent living working and laughing together for the world.

I tried to narrow the days down into one highlight experience….one favourite day, but I can’t do it. Every day here will hold a place in my heart. Now I can certainly tell that I am getting far too sappy.

I consider myself very lucky to have spent time here.  Even luckier to spend that time with the good people around me. I’m generally not a very out going person, and tend to keep to myself more often than not. These past two weeks however I somehow came out of my shell. I don’t know what it is but I feel a very strong bond with everyone here and that is something I will carry with me forever. So to this wonderful crew of men and women I say thank you. Thank you for doing everything you did here in New Orleans and thank you for being my friend.

Now to the city of New Orleans. As I mentioned in a previous blog I see progress now. New homes. New life. At the same time however I still see demolished homes, abandoned lots, areas that seem to be ghost towns. The work we all did here helped, even if it seems insignificant at times. This city still needs serious help and serious work before the job is done. I hope that the volunteers continue to lend hands to New Orleans and that someday a full recovery will be made. I know its possible, it just takes time.

 So.

To my friends and co-workers, thank you for an incredible experience.

Keep New Orleans in your hearts.

-Jordan Ruediger

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