Trip Start May 29, 2007
16Trip End Jul 02, 2007
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Where I stayed
Anyway, I guess I will start off with an overall picture of where I have been staying: The area that I am working at is located in Saint Bernard's Parish (A Parish is the equivalent of a county back home). This was an area that was hit just as hard as New Orleans but because it is not as well known, and as populated as NO it didn't get any where near as much media attention, despite the fact that about ninety percent of the homes in the Parish were damaged
Now onto what I have been doing for the last five days. We would arrive at our worksite between 7-8 in the mornign and work until 3-4 in the afternoon.. I guess compared to other jobs that is a pretty light workday but keep in mind thta the majority of people volunteering don't do manual labor on a daily basis, and that it is really freaking hot, and even more humid! I have been able to do a variety of different things, some of the more tedious stuff has been spackling and sanding, and the more fun jobs have been putting up drywall, roofing and putting up chain link fences. For the most part I haven't minded doing the physical labor, and I have learned how to do a few more handy things which is always good
My impressions of the Hurricane damage in St. Bernards Parish and NO: It is really still badly damaged here. ** sorry Im going to have to take a break here, there is a guy in this common room playing every single ringtone on his phone and it is getting really annoying....** Alright he stopped. Anyway, pretty much everywhere you go in the area, with the exception of the Fernech Quarter, there are still major signs of damage. Only 50% - 60% of the population has returned to the area, so there are tons of abandoned buildings. Every where you turn there are buildings that have been gutted, and a lot of buildings that look like they haven't been touched in the two years since the hurricane. There are also Fema trailers every where which are the tmeporary homes given to the residents until they can fix up there own homes, but it seems like a lot of people may end up living in them permanently. All in all there is still a whole lot of damage, and the organizations are definitely in need of more volunteers, especially since the story has pretty much fallen off the radar with the national media. So yeah, I would definitely recommend coming down here to work for a week, it is cheap, pretty fun, and a good excuse to go party in New Orleans, and on that note I am going to sign off and go do just that with Josh and Dave who have been drinking in the French Quarter since one in the afternoon...
I will try and post my pictures tomorrow...