Wabash Blogs Immersion 2008: Katrina

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Thoughts From Larryjoe Brown

Today was our first day to get down and dirty with our Mission Trip. Not knowing what to expect when arriving in New Orleans, I was thoroughly surprised. My astonishment came when I saw how badly this town was still hurting two and half years after Hurricane Katrina. I figured that most homes would be fixed and all businesses would be in working order. However, many businesses are currently being fixed, and only residents with large amounts of capitol have homes that could inhabit life. My greatest realization of the capacity of damage happened when I was removing a roof in the Lower Ninth Ward. While on top of the roof, I could see many vacant lots or at least lots that I wish were vacant. I mean the houses that were still standing had “X’s” on them. I learned that the “X” represented four different classifications. The top of the “X” referred to the number of lives lost; the bottom, showed the number of pets that died; the left, represented whether or not the water was toxic; and the right, indicated whether or not the house needed to be removed. Also, while standing on the roof I became choked-up when I would look over the Ward and realize all the houses that should still be standing. I cannot begin to describe the happiness that I felt when I was volunteering in an area that really needed it. Therefore, I would like to thank Wabash College and everyone else who made this trip possible, and I hope that future trips can come here. Trust me when I say this: the men and women of New Orleans NEED OUR HELP.