Coming to New Orleans, I don't think that anyone in the group really knew what to expect. We all had chosen to make the trip for reasons, personal to ourselves, but there definitely were heightened expectations of New Orleans, now almost 3 years post-Katrina. We visited the 9th Ward today, which in 2005 suffered catastrophic flooding because of Hurricane Katrina. It was such an odd feeling to walk among an area which had once been fully inhabited and alive. Also, to know that where we were walking had been flooded by water and the place of so much grief. Most of the houses have been torn down by now, except for a few that still need to be demolished. The grass is overgrown in most places, and the only remnants of the previous neighborhood lay in the concrete porch steps that occupy most of the empty lots, or the occasional rusty fence, or fork in the road.
I think that this visit was really significant for many of us going on this trip, it really made clear the impact of the disaster, as well as (speaking for myself) our purpose for being here. Two weeks doesn't seem like enough time to make a difference, but I think that the sincerity of our group really shines through. Especially after we visited all of the different organizations that we will be working with. I feel like everyone got really pumped up after that and is ready to start off the week. So here's to good work, good people, and a great cause, all in the name of justice and equality!