I am a chronic last minute packer.  It is 2am and my flight leaves in 8 hrs for NOLA.  At some point I should probably get some sleep.  However sleep will definitely be unlikely since I am too excited about the trip.  Tanya told our group to pack light however I am also guilty of being a chronic over packer.

I can’t believe that NOLA is finally here.  It seems like just yesterday that I was filling out the application hoping that I would be selected to be a part of this incredible experience.  Now I am just hours away from being in New Orleans and I am overcome with the anticipation.  There are so many things that I am looking forward too: the New Orleans Jazz festival, hanging out in the French Quarter, the Swamp Tour and eating crawfish for the first time.  However, I am most excited about engaging with people in the community, hearing their stories and participating in all the volunteer projects with my class mates.  I cannot begin to imagine what the people of New Orleans have been through since the Hurricane hit and changed their way of life.  I know this experience will be life changing for me and the rest of our group.

I have been talking about this trip with many of my co-workers and the families that attend the child care centre where I work.  Some of them have shared stories of their trips to NOLA while many others seem to be unaware that many people continue to be devastated by the impact of Hurricane Katrina.  This class has given me the tools to educate others about the social injustices that create and enhance the impacts of disasters.

I can’t wait to come back and share my experience with my friends and family.  Hopefully this experience will inspire others to participate in volunteer projects and support communities that suffer the effects of disasters long after they are out of the media’s focus.

See you soon everyone!!

Simone

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