May 1st, 2012 – Sarah Lynch

 

It is surreal on so many levels….

 

I love travelling with a purpose, never really have enjoyed relaxing beach vacation.  I am not feeling relaxed here inNew Orleans, I am challenged. I feel pushed outside of my comfort zone and confronted with unexpected emotions. Having travelled all over the world, I usually research a destination and pride myself on preparing for what I might encounter. But NOLA has blown me away…..

 

The course work and assigned readings have provided me with an in depth knowledge of the social and political environment that exists isNew Orleans. Allow me to compare my experience to having a baby. When you are pregnant you do all the reading, attend the prenatal classes and feel confident enough to follow through with an event that you know will change your life for ever.  Everyone prepares you for the pain, but nobody prepares you for the love. Please forgive me for being heavy but no one prepared me for the love!

 

Today, along with my group I helped to put the finishing touches on a house that has been renovated from the ground up. The house was purchased from the government, renovated by volunteers and will be sold at cost to a family who otherwise could not afford to own a home. The baseboard and trim was cut into place perfectly. The doors were hung so snugly you could role a dime down closure. Double doors open onto a huge back porch with a blue ceiling to keep the bugs away (traditional inNew Orleans).

 

We created a front lawn with flowerbeds. The house has an in-law suite at the back. It is perfect for multi-generational living, the way we are meant to live.

 

 The most amazing thing happen, people came to see the house with a view to purchasing it. An elderly man with a limp yelled from the road “Is this house for sale?”

“Yes, it is” I replied….”I heard this is a SBP home” he said. “Yes, it is” I said with pride in my voice. He told me his daughter is looking to buy a house. I felt a lump in my throat as he stepped onto the front porch. I pictured him sitting there with his grandchildren on his knee. That was my last thought as I fell asleep last night….Nobody prepared me for the love!

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