In our last check-in, I shared this poem that I thought wrapped things up kind of nicely.  Though I definitely didn’t get to include everything that I wanted to talk about or all of the amazing experiences that we’ve had, the group seemed to enjoy it enough to beg ask me to post it here.  Inside jokes aside, I hope that all y’all subscribers still enjoy it too 🙂

Ode to Toronto 2 Nola 2011

We came from Toronto to help a city rebuild
Despite the fact that we were all pretty highly unskilled
But we each found our place, one which fit like a glove
So that we could help the city that we now all love.
With St. Bernard Project we built walls and rooms
To help people to move home, their lives to resume.
We mudded and hammered, thinking of Mr. Christie
Whose speech left all of our eyes feeling a little misty.
At the animal shelter, we scooped dog diarrhea
Though I think we would all have preferred getting gonorrhea
We learned how to reuse at the Green Project
To avoid tossing out materials that were otherwise wrecked
The food co-op brought healthy food to the Nine
So that this neighbourhood could also shine
Though some may have had homes rebuilt by Brad Pitt,
Caitlin told them that now “y’all don’t gotta eat no more McDonalds and shit”!
We helped build a garden at the Magnolia School
So that this place could stand out as a jewel
The students here have been touched by disability,
But are still fascinating people, like you and me.
We helped fill sandbags in Stephensville for the impending flood
To help prevent any more homes from being buried in mud
The inmates brought us smiles and plenty of cheer
So we found there really was no reason at all to fear.
Of course, we still saw the city’s many attractions
And got to shop around the Quarter, boosting the tourism transactions
The sun was sometimes so hot that it felt kind of disgusting,
But we made it through with some sloooow thrusting.
When the sun went down and there was no longer need for shade,
We hit up Bourbon Street for a few hand grenades.
Part of our team went to Alabama to learn about civil rights,
The Freedom Riders, heartbreak, and the struggles of nonwhites.
This trip has been much more meaningful than I ever expected
By talking to group members and locals alike, I think we have all truly connected.
People have been very open about sharing their stories of survival
Giving all the more reason for us to want to help in the community’s revival
All around New Orleans, we saw homes and communities shattered
Truly, we could see that our help really mattered.
None of this would have been possible without Tanya and Pascal
All we can say is a heartfelt thanks to y’all
For all of your driving, organizing, and helping us through
We couldn’t have done it without either of you!
As our time here wraps up under the Nola sun,
I have only one thing left to say – I’m done.
Michelle Evans