Well, I've been a little out of the loop re: this whole "blog" thing as I left my large, heavy chunk of metal otherwise known as a "laptop" back home, but I just got caught up on what my co-volunteers have been sharing and want to chime in as well. Although I must be brief as it's quite late and we've got another day of hard work ahead of us tomorrow. Hopefully the rain will hold off so we can get a full day in.
I don't want to spend much time writing about personal challenges, rewards, and experiences over these last three days, although they are numerous, but instead want to convey the overwhelming need for more help, money and resources in order to attempt to restore the livelihood and spirit of the city that care forgot. I'd seen the news, the video from last year's group, pictures my brother took of the lower 9th ward from two years ago, etc. etc., but nothing could have prepared me for that first drive from our comfortable hotel in the French Quarter to the upper ninth ward where we were to begin our week's work. I sat quietly looking out the window as we drove past countless homes and businesses that had been left to be dealt with by someone else. It seemed someone else never came. The only thing more shocking was seeing some of the homes that are still inhabited to this day.
Thanks to Habitat for Humanity, and thousands of volunteers, families are slowly getting back on their collective feet. There's much still to be done. I'm hopeful that Berklee will continue to offer, and hopefully expand on, this amazing opportunity.
Sorry to bring you down.
Although I'm somewhat repulsed by the goings on on Calle Bourbon, I think this city needs the revelry and debauchery and smiling and laughing to balance out the picture I've just painted.