I don't think I have ever had an experience that has been so enlightening and fulfilling as the one I shared with the ASB group in Louisiana this week! Even though we only spent a week just outside of New Orleans, it has been a very busy and productive one.
The first day was probably the most difficult, because it started early and there was a lot of traveling throughout the day. After a bright and early wake-up at 3:00 (which was really 2:00 because of daylight savings time) we were at the airport by 4:30. After check in which took a while (we were at Logan after all) we were off to Baltimore and from there after about a two hour layover we were off to New Orleans.
While we were waiting for the chaperones to get the rental cars, Joey kept us all in high spirits by suggesting that we play a few games such as "the Oreo Challenge" and a Standing on One Leg Challenge" which Melissa won! (alas, I came in third). After about a 40 minute drive where we passed a stray Mardi Gras float with the Cat in the Hat on it and a long bridge, we arrived at the Peace Lutheran Mission. At first we were skeptical about where we would be sleeping, but Stephanie, our great host, showed us to our rooms. I was glad that I was able to get a bunk bed as I was afraid that I might need to sleep in the sanctuary which kinda freaked me out!
After unwinding from our day of traveling, Kendra put on a very informational documentary called Trouble the Water. It was filmed by a woman who experienced the tragic events of Hurricane Katrina firsthand. She recorded the start of the storm, during, and the horrific aftermath. which included the discovery of her neighbor's body in his home. The documentary also included 911 calls that were made during the storm. For me personally, this was the most heart-wrenching part of the film. You could just hear the desperation in the caller's voices, knowing that no one would come to rescue them. It was clear by the end of the documentary that everyone was deeply affected by it. Although all of us were deeply saddened by the film, I think that all of us were deeply affected in a positive way as well. I think that by starting our trip by watching a firsthand account of Hurricane Katrina, we became more aware of why we were here and it instilled a determined and passionate attitude in us which was reflected in the work that we would be completing later that week.
more to follow :)