As this blog post goes live, I will be in an airplane on my way to New Orleans. Yes, I’m traveling there during the College’s spring break. So, you might be thinking, “Woo! Lucky lady- spring break in NOLA!” And that is TOTALLY how I feel…but we may be thinking about this in different ways.
I’m taking part, for the second year in a row, in one of Saint Rose’s alternate spring break trips. What’s an alternate spring break? Rather than traveling somewhere and having a time out on the town, alternate spring break participants volunteer their time toward some kind of effort or relief. There are a wide variety of trips: sustainability trips, inner-city trips, and ones like what I’m doing- building or rebuilding.
About a dozen students, myself, and two other staff leaders are traveling to NOLA this week to volunteer our time with lowernine.org, an organization dedicated to rebuilding and restoring New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina devastation. When I went on the trip last year I remember thinking that it had been five years since the hurricane, how bad could it still be? Here are some pictures from my March 2011 trip:
These pictures really are an understatement, there is still a TON of work left to do to clean up New Orleans- that’s why we are going back, and probably will be for at least a few years to come.
Yes- the pictures are depressing, but anyone who has been to NOLA understands the culture and community that exists there. It’s like no other. People are ready to move forward (and are) and it is exciting to be able to experience some time with them. PLUS, the major benefit, to me, of the trip is meeting and getting to know some of the amazing students that exist at Saint Rose. I made some great friends last year and I am so pumped to be going back!