Trip Start Feb 14, 2008
20Trip End Sep 15, 2008
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Where I stayed
I am back at the hotel now, after having volunteered today in the Broadmoor district, via Rebuilding Together New Orleans. It was actually just me and the project leader - Hannah. The project was to put in some snap flooring (laminate) into a house. The owner of the house, coincidentally also named Hannah (Miss Hannah, that is...), is living in an RV in the side yard. When the house is back in condition, she'll be moving back in with three of her adult sons. It's actually a pretty big house. Project went well. Didn't quite fininsh the room we were working on, but made good progress.
There were cleanup, construction, and repair projects going on all over the neighborhood - one by the Broadmoor Neighborhood Association, and some pros. Driving around the neighborhood, if I had to guess, about one in four houses was occupied, though well over half were in some state of being repaired. It wasn't moldy or otherwise murky or dangerous. Most of the houses had spray paint on them, usually about halfway up, showing where the high water mark was (usually dated 9/12/2005), which organization made the assessment, if they entered, and if they found anyone. I didn't ask what "found anyone" might mean, specifically.
People, there's a lot of work left to do in New Orleans, and there are plenty of organizations doing the work. And driving around that neighborhood, and hearing about Miss Hannah's family, I don't buy it for a second that they shouldn't rebuild. What I helped do today was a drop in the bucket. But every drop helps. You should seriously consider coming to New Orleans, spending your tourist dollars, and spending a few hours putting a few more drops in that bucket. Seriously. Consider it.