Today was a very informative day. I feel a lot more connected to New Orleans after learning all about the damages that Hurricane Katrina caused in the city. The morning was pretty routine, we prepared breakfast for the whole group. Yummy bacon and eggs! We had a tiny break before heading out to the worksite and at 8:15am we were on our way to our worksite. Dan and Adam were there and of course, very patient, as we all learn about construction. I continued my work with trimming (aka baseboards) along with Ashley, Lorena and Ryan. The boys, Carlos, Walker and Claudio continued working on doors and painting. At about 2pm we closed up shop and headed to the main office to hear a short presentation on the background of Hurricane Katrina by Dan and Hannah. I did not know any of the information they told us before coming in, and I was really shocked to know what really happened with the city before and after the hurricane. At all levels of authority there were problems and flaws in the overall system. Organizations trying to help the city but not allowed to come in because of the blockade, citizens being sent to who knows where and just so much misunderstanding going on. A lot of it did not make sense to me like how the Mayor called a mandatory evacuation, ONLY 24 hours before the hurricane was supposed to hit the city. It all sounded very hectic at the moment, and unclear decisions were being made left and right. It still does not make any sense to a lot of us…
As for the rest of the day though, I really enjoyed our walking tour of the lower 9th ward. It was living proof of the effects the hurricane had on the city. I love the sense of community that people in this city have. This is their home and many still returned to rebuild their homes after the disaster.
There was so much information given out today that I cannot type it all. To sum it all up though, I feel more connected to the city and developed a bigger sentimental connection to the house we are helping build. There is still a lot of work to be done and I hope that what we are doing this week helps at least a little in the recovery of this wonderful and rich city.
P.S. If you ever want to go eat yummy oysters and possibly meet a Hollywood actor or actress (aka Dan Byrd) go to Acme Oyster House at the French Quarter!