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A Tuesday in Louisiana :)

May 12, 2010

Tuesday and Mehle

Day two on site.flew by a lot faster than Monday.  Louisiana is a complex in every aspect.  At touch down we were dropped into this complex culture that we had no exposure to prior to this trip.  Well at least I didn't lol. (I can do that here..the lol..finals are over).  Anyway friends, yesterday, Tuesday 1 May 2010, was our second day on site with her.  "Her" is our Mehle St. house of course.  Yesterday was only the second day that we have been working on her but I am already attached.  I don't know how I am going to leave her on Friday afternoon knowing that I won't return the next day

Where Work Meets Reality

Aside from the underlying debate on the Mets and the Yankees as a team, collectively, we worked quickly and efficiently.  As work commenced on Tuesday I began to make my list : 1.  Plug holes with wood filler, 2.  Paint baseboards , 3.  Paint exterior trim…What can I say friends, I work better with list.  This is all well and good but what happens when you're standing by the back door look out and you have a clear view of Angela St. because the house that was there is missing.  What happens when you understand that the three homes that are surround Mehle are either gone of boarded up.  What do you tell yourself when you finally realize that each vacant spot, each grassland, and each space that looks like a huge back yard or a community park was once the foundation upon which a family's home resided.  Our mind allows these things to come and go but the fact is that this is an issue.

Work Break

Friends I know I do not stand alone when I say that I enjoy the simple aspects of life.  In other words the little things make me happy.  I really love the fact that although we work only a block away from Camp Hope (our volunteer housing), we eat on sight. From 12 to 1 we grab a seat on a work bench or a seat on Mehle's front stoop and we eat. Some of us nap lol (Julia had you shout you out J).  Also the ice cream man well ice cream in her hey grab little Joe let hop on a short school bus play the Mister Frosty music and sell ice cream (good ice cream).  I didn't get run raisin but cookies and cream was satisfying.

 From the outside you must be thinking this girl is crazy she's naming houses and talking about all these weird things but the fact is that these are not just houses. They are parts of families. Without them people feel like there is a chunk of the missing.  Some don't have the will to return.  When I get home I am going to hug my home.Give Te-Te (I just named my home.every home needs one.we value people, animals and cars and we name them so why not name our homes)  a little bit of love and show a little pit of appreciation for keep me dry in the rain, warm in the winter, cool and the summer and most importantly safe with my family.

Linda Jackson

"I'm back and I'm not going anywhere.You see that right there Immo be here right there in that house" (Linda Jackson)

If Ms. Jackson wasn't the head of the Home Owners Association and a member of many other organizations here in Louisiana I would swear she was a comedian.  This woman has been through it.  We had the opportunity to visit her at her home and listen to a little of her story and what she does down here in the Louie.  She has been here all her life. She reared her family here, worked here, and loves here.  She loved it so much that right before Katrina she was thinking of staying and waiting out the storm.  Linda gave our small group the unpolished facts pertaining to what's happening in the Lower Ninth Ward and more importantly what's not happening.  Talking to Ms. Jackson made me want to reach out and just shake some sense into people that have the power to better the current state of the lower Ninth Ward but sit adamantly doing nothing.  It's so easy to have moments of anger when you see all that is wrong and how easy it would be to make it right.


After this small moment of anger that I suppressed my group and I went fishing for a meal. Our irreplaceable Rita scored once again suggesting that she saw us pass in our travels (Gotta love Rita first La Peniche  then this lace with all the food that I should have remembered for when I come back to LA).  Anyhow, this place had Po-Boys, Chinese Food, Crayfish, and an abundance of chicken.  It was amazing. Sweet and sour chicken that is actually made with real chicken… awesome lol.  I have some in the fridge for lunch today on Mehle's stoop.  Looking forward to it

Until next time,

Natasha Burton

Natasha Burton
Gettysburg College Class of 2013
Black Student Union Community Service Liason
Campus Box 0247 <>


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