Wednesday 25 February 2009

Habitat for Humanity: Giving Back to New Orleans

6:15AM wakeup call for Habitat for Humanity! If one truly wants to experience New Orleans, one needs to understand the after effects of Hurricane Katrina. Albeit the fact that it is impossible to empathize with the tragedy experienced, the attempt must be made. Thus, for us, the best way to try to understand would be to participate in the rebuilding of the city.

Chad and Susy came with us to Musician's Village. This area was created after the Hurricane to bring musicians back to Nola. The idea was created by natives Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis to make sure music, the heart of New Orleans, would be kept alive. Thus, displaced musicians and their families can live in this area that will serve as a place for teaching and preserving music.

Musician's Village; rebuilding New Orleans

The area was flooded over five fee high, so as one can imagine, the foundations were extremely tall! The four of us worked with Angie, an 18-year-old Americorps member who decided to spend a gap year helping others. Amazing!

As the foundation serves as the most important part of any construction, we double checked to make sure nails laid where they were supposed to. Second, we actually went under the foundation to push up and fix any nails that weren't attached to boards. It was hard work and somehow each time I struggled would be the same time that the cute Volunteer Coordinator would see me!

The foundation raised high enough to avoid the past tragedy

We had lunch at Poppa's Seafood; it was only $1.25 for a burger! Sweet!

After lunch, we built three huge walls. The boys took just half a dozen hits to nail in the wood - too bad it took me over twenty times! Ahaha.

Yeah, Habitat for Humanity!

At the end of the day, the taxi never came. We had our personal taxi and called the company, but neither came through. Luckily, we found a sweet old woman who offered us a ride! As it was a far ride over the freeway, we gave her $20 as a thank you. She didn't want to take it, but I responded as we ran out, "Oh, but we're already out of the car, bye!" Southern hospitality!

I took a quick walk down Magazine Street before leaving for the airport. Conclusion: I love Nola!

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