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Wednesday’s blog

May 14, 2010

       Wednesday was a lot of fun. We started out the day by getting up and going to Logger's Bayou. Instead of the healthy, tree rich place it should have been, the bayou was virtually a wasteland with no trees, and dead vegetation. It was a very heart breaking sight to see that place that had once been abundant with life for centuries, look lifeless and empty. The saddest part of all is the fact that the Bayou is like that not because of Hurricane Katrina but because of humans. Bayous are the city's first line of defense against Hurricanes so had Logger Bayou and most of the other Bayou's in New Orleans not been destroyed by humans then the effects of Katrina might not have been as bad. It is upsetting to hear that wetlands in Louisiana are still being destroyed at an alarming rate. The metaphor that was used to describe this destruction was that if the destruction of the Bayou could be compared to the super bowl game between the saints and the colts by half time half the entire football field would be gone.

               After we left the Bayou we headed to the house and got to work. The work is almost done so we put the finishing touches on the houses. Some people painted the outside of the house, some people cleaned floors and others got to caulk the doors. I had the honor of installing the door stops with Linh. It was fun mostly because I got to use a drill.  The ice cream truck came by but we went back to camp hope for a bathroom break and missed it. We took a break and went to get Snow Balls. Snow balls are large cups of shaved ice with flavored juice poured on top.  It was fun picking out and trying the various flavors that they had. They had flavors like cake batter, peach, almond, watermelon, coconut, etc. You could even get ice cream in the middle of the snow ball. We all enjoyed our various combinations of snowballs. After we had finished our treat we went to a new house. The house we worked at was to be presented tomorrow to the homeowner who had been a victim of Katrina. Her name was Amelia and she had been away from home for 5 years. In that time she had bounced around from house to house and had even ended up in Texas for sometime. She was very excited to be going home and so all tried our best to help out in any way we could to get the house ready for her. We did some last minute touches and pulled weeds, cleaned the floors, and any other small tasks that they had for us. The house was beautiful and I knew she would be extremely happy to see how nice it was.

      After we had finished up for the day we headed back to camp hope for a quick shower. After we showered we headed to the Wednesdays on the square event. Every Wednesday down in New Orleans they have a free concert and food and clothing vendors. At the concert we met up with a friend of Rita's named Sarah who was a NOLA native. At the concert they played jazz music and even had some members of the NOLA Saints foot ball team on stage. Everybody had fun at the concert. We talked to some people at the event, and all sampled some of the food that they were selling. I had shrimp and grits which tasted like heaven, and a nutella crepe. We all shared and sampled each other's dishes. After the concert was over we went to an old restaurant called Mother's. During our delicious dinner we listen to Sarah's experience working with the troubled youth of NOLA. I was especially interested because that is the field that I hope to go into one day. I was amazed to learn of all the corruption that prevents many of the troubled youth from getting help in NOLA. It was an interesting and informative conversation. After we left the restaurant we said goodbye to Sarah and headed back to Camp Hope. At Camp Hope we had fun by talking about astrology and we even befriended one of the girls who came from James Madison University.  I took out some tarot cards I had bought the other day from a voodoo shop. In New Orleans voodoo and tarot card readings are very much ingrained in the culture.  I tried to learn how to do it from the instruction guide but I didn't know what to do and instead made up a funny fortune about Linh. We all had fun doing that and eventually we got tired and fell asleep. I can't believe how fast this week is going by. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and what it will bring. I really love this place and I'm really glad that I came on this trip.

– Ayana


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