This will be our 3rd full day in the Crescent City (New Orleans) and I am looking forward to a full day. So far, my group has kept a busy schedule. Our first night here, we had the opportunity to have dinner with Mrs. Joanne and Lynn. Mrs Joanne is a New Orleans native. She invited our group to her church on Sunday, which we attended. After church, the Annual Mardi Gras Indian parade was held, passing by the People's Volunteer Center where we stayed. Many of us, took many pictures of the parade participants in their colorful costumes. Afterwards the group went down to the lower 9th Ward. It was a powerful experience to see the change from the celebratory parade to the spirit in the 9th Ward. What was also enlightening, was that to end the evening, several went to the French Quarter. That provided an additional opportunity for people to compare the work done in different areas of New Orleans.
My group got our work assignment yesterday and we are working on a house in the upper 9th ward. We are sanding drywall, mudding, applying primer and applying texture to the walls. I think many of us were surprise at how exhausted we were at the end of the day. Over dinner on Monday, we had a great conversation, allowing us to vocalize our thoughts/concerns around issues of class, privilege, organizational structure and civic responsibility. I will probably write more about all of these later...now I need to hurry and eat breakfast. my group plans to leave the volunteer center by 8 a.m. in order to be on the work site and ready to work by 8:30.