we will walk these streets again..

Disclaimer: I have done my very best to sum up this trip without overloading the system. However it has happened once already.. Thanks Mozilla.

It has not been long since we returned but the withdrawal has hit me and stuck with me. It is difficult not to miss the city, the people, our group and the projects that we worked on. What I miss the most (obviously other than Group 2) is the projects that we worked on and the satisfaction of knowing that the fence, bathroom, or trim installed will bring the families one step closer to returning home and  make this structure we have worked on truly feel like a home.

I left for this trip forewarned of the possible frustration to not being able to finish a project and still set myself up on projects to expect more than I probably should have. In the first few days although happy with the progress I was not satisfied because I hoped for more, however the realization that these small tasks (in the scheme of a whole house) were necessary and so appreciated by the homeowners that it made the whole effort worthwhile and rewarding.

From this trip I learned a lot about New Orleans, the political issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina, the vibrant culture of the city as well as the wonderful people who live there. I also learned a great deal about myself and the potential that I have. I came to this realization through connecting with the group in a way I did not expect too and seeing what wonderful people that they are and the amazing things they have already done or plan to do. The group members inspired me to be a better person and made me comfortable with the person that I am. They demonstrated the importance of surrounding yourself with happy, motivating and like-minded people.

The issue that I have at home is trying to describe to others the experience that I had, the transformational experience that this was is difficult to put into words. When asked how the trip was I have fallen back on “amazing” as this is the most honest description that I can provide. Although there was frustration, tears, happiness and friendship this word does capture all of these aspects. As strange as it may sound the tears we cried and frustration we felt were amazing in that they brought us closer to each other and gave us a deeper appreciation for the city of New Orleans and the people within it.

I am so grateful to each and every one of the group members for making this trip as amazing as it was and allowing me to be myself and be comfortable doing so. Thank you to Pascal and Tanya for planning this amazing experience and for everyone that stepped out of their comfort zone to make each day as amazing/fantastic/great (and any other word we used every 5 minutes in the van to describe it) as it was.

Oh and see you next year ? 🙂