NOLA Day Four: We Get to Work
The morning started with a delicious breakfast of biscuits, cubed potatoes, and the meat candy commonly known as ‘bacon.’ Then, we were off to orientation to kick off our first day of service work. There, we learned about the St. Bernard Project (SBP), which has been helping the locals return to their original homes since 2005. We also heard the Katrina story of Mr. F, who had to evacuate his home with his 13-year-old daughter. He traveled up to northern Louisiana to live with family for a few weeks before retuning home to an empty foundation and a set of stairs. SBP helped him build his home and get him back on his feet.
Today was also called “leg day.” Yes, some of us did hit the gym, but all of us spent quite a few hours on a ladder. Our mission work was drywalling…the ceiling! We put our sweat and tears into our work today. No doubt the blood will come later this week. We left tired, sweaty, and hungry with sore shoulders and two more drills (courtesy of Pastor Mark). Our day ended with a driving tour of New Orleans, where our eyes were opened to the life style of those who live down here. Some people live miles from the closest grocery store. Some places are considered uninhabitable because the land has been contaminated over the last 100 years. When we finally returned to Loyola, everyone could agree that the most powerful moment of the day was standing beneath a wall filled with names — names of those who had been murdered in New Orleans since 2007. Although it can be easy to pick out the negative aspects of New Orleans, it is tough to ignore the undeniable resilience and sense of community among the people of New Orleans.