Monday, March 31, 2008

My second year

This year was an entirely different experience from last year. Last year I felt like and worker bee and this year I felt like a sponge. As I am still processing everything that I have learned from the trip and my peers, I now have a better understanding of what happened, how it happened and speculations into why it happened. I had the opportunity to speak listen to Tanya' story, the director of ACORN in New Orleans. She was a resident in the Lower 9, as they say down in New Orleans. Her story, her courage and her motivation to get the Lower 9 back on its feet was more than inspirational about the devastation, it gave hope to all that was there to listen to her. She told us that volunteers in a big catastophe is something special, it is as if there is a common thread that unites the human spirit into doing miraculous things, for example we all are working for the greater good by helping srtrangers and those effected by Katrina. Even our presence there, and those of other colleges are hope and optimism in itself. I had heard that before last year and it really rings true. Service learning is not about spending your spring break down in a city you are unfamiliar with, it is about helping people, learning from them, having them help you and to keep something that builds us together concrete. I will tell stories of those down in New Orleans and let people know it is not fixed or settled. I will try and explain the causes to better understand the situation, as the media has its own priority and agenda that revolves around money and what sells. Oh so exciting. It feels like we are up against a wall, yet together as a community, not just down in New Orleans, we can better the human spirit in people and find connections in one another. That will help our world succeed and get out of destructive messes.

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