So it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Turns out I didn’t abandon this blog or anything. I’ve just been without internet access for a while, and everything got really busy.
So two weeks ago, my university went on spring break. While most people would spend the week at home with their parents or at Cancun or wherever, I did something different. I and about twenty other people flew down to New Orleans and volunteered with this charity, United Saints Recovery Project. United Saints was founded in 2007, and is dedicated to repairing homes and communities damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
For a week, we worked with United Saints to repair, rebuild, and restore many parts of New Orleans that have been untouched since 2005. We rebuilt homes, fixed up churches, planted community gardens, and generally made New Orleans a slightly better place.
The one thing that bothered me was that most of the work we were doing was in low-income neighborhoods. The people living in these neighborhoods were devastated by Katrina. Many didn’t have insurance, many lost their jobs, and some lost their families. They couldn’t simply pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. Most of these people lost everything.
Yet there are many areas of New Orleans that have already fully recovered. Once (only once) we traveled through a high-income neighborhood. There were mansions on both sides of the road, and more than one fancy gated community. Just looking at those houses, you would never guess that a hurricane ripped its way through there. To these people, Katrina was just a minor inconvenience. Perhaps they lived in their summer homes for a few months while they paid some contractors to fix up their houses. These people didn’t suffer at all.
There are few places in the US where the income gap is more striking. On one side of the river, you have giant mansions and freshly manicured lawns, and on the other side, you have ruined houses and abandoned neighborhoods. It’s been seven years since Katrina, and these places still haven’t been rebuilt. Some of them will never be rebuilt.
So anyway, that’s where I’ve been. Sorry for not posting more things, but I’ve been kinda busy. 🙂