I have been asked to write...to post something on the service learning blog....but it's not that easy!
I am not from Minnesota, I am not American...I come from Italy and I am just an exchange student. How does it happen that I am in New Orleans right now? Kind of wierd...i was just arrived at the Hamline, without knowing anybody, when I first heard about the CSI New Orleans. The idea was great: seeing one of the most famous and beautiful cities in the US, living the south, seeing with my own eyes what the hurricane did and doing something good for my spring break. I just applied...
In the meantime, before our leaving, I started to get informed about what ahppened to the citY.
In fact, the news of Katrina's distaster arrived in Europe. in 2005, but I hadn't heard anything else about ever since.After 2 years and a half.....what was left to do?
So...internet, movies...just to have a clue of the reality that I should expect...but only when i came here I COULD REALLY REALIZE.
After a 24-hour-bustrip I am arrived in the ancient Nouvelle Orleans and I've visite the French Quarter as a tourist. The impact of the city, of the music, of the colors was so great that I suddenly fell in love! But the amazement for the discovering of this beauty had to be offset by a similar feeling for the discovering of a total opposite landscape:Lower 9th.
I was told that we were going to the part of the city most affected by the flood. I was told that the levees broke.I was told that a lot of people had lost their house and all their belonging.
But when I saw it I could not believe it....
In front of me there was a huuuuge green plain surrounded, for one side, by an enormous white long white wall. Some trees and a few little houses. Was that a park?Was that a residential area?Where were the houses I'd been told of?Where were the signs of the disaster?
I get off the car...I wanted to undeerstand more...and walking on the grass I could perceive that here and there there were tiles, steps and house basis.....there!the houses were there!
it was full of houses of which only traces were left!
Where were the people?
Where are they now?
The worse thing is that it has not been a natural disaster as I've been told by the media before coming! The engeneers knew!The government knew!The knew that the levees system was not efficient for preventing a flood....but they didn't do anything...
I was angry, sad, all at the same time....I just wanted to do something for those who had lost everything. I wanted to do something....and I've found the reason why I was in New Orleans.
Even if only for a week, even if it would be necessary a governmental intervention in the area...What are the volonteers doing here is essential for the rebuilding of this wonderful city.
I am glad to be here.