There’s not much in the news these days about New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean the city has fully recovered from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Almost six years later, much rebuilding is still left to be done. Progress is being made, but not fast enough.

It has been a bit over a year since my trip to New Orleans. The memories are still pretty clear in my mind, but for the days I don’t remember, I have my journal to look back on to relive the moments. During my time there, we worked on several projects: demolishing a school, insulating houses, helping the homeless shelter, painting, sanding and mudding walls. Along with the sweaty and tiring days, came new skills, toned arms, and a mix of emotions. Joy because something was being done to help these people, but sadness because not enough was being done. Anger and frustration because aid is not being maximized, but satisfaction knowing that a step is being made in the right direction.

Now as I sit at home a bit over a year after my trip, I wonder how the families of the homes I worked on are doing. Through Facebook, I got to follow the progress of one of the homes (The Pacaccio Family) that I worked on. And it was a great feeling seeing how the house had progressed even after we had left and finding out that the family had moved in! 

When we left...

After we left another group came to work on the house...

Welcome HOME!

I am honoured to have been a part of this experience and I applaud all the hard work and time that Tanya and Pascal have put into this course because without them there would be no Toronto 2 NOLA. My hope for New Orleans is that when I return in the future, it will be able to revive its natural charm and character. I believe that this is possible because the spirit of its people are always so high and bright, even amongst the worst of times.

Toronto 2 NOLA 2010!