Wabash Blogs Immersion 2009: New Orleans Mission Trip

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Day One

Today was the first day of the New Orleans trip, and the majority was spent on the fifteen hour drive. While most of our time was spent in an eleven passenger van, the ride wasn’t necessarily boring. For instance, it was interesting watching my fellow passengers get increasingly more creative in their sleeping positions as the day wore on. When we weren’t trying to sleep the time away though, we had the opportunity to get to know new Wabash men we had yet to meet in class or around campus. In fact, I made a couple new friends today and had the opportunity to hangout and talk with faculty members in a way that isn’t often available on campus do to the hectic day-to-day schedules Wabash imposes on us. For this reason alone, the trip has already been a success.

The general mood among the group is excitement for the work to come. Though most of us are inexperienced in roofing, carpentry, and most other areas of work we are expected to encounter, our enthusiasm seems to outweigh any uncertainty we may have about our ability to help. The director of the mission, Brother Vance, assured us at our “orientation” meeting that while he knows that we are probably inexperienced in what we are about to do, there is no mistake that we can make that hasn’t already been done and fixed. With that assurance, followed by a closing prayer, we were ushered to our bunks to get some rest for the day to come.
As I type, the lights are being turned off and the last vestiges of conversation are dying down. The instant camaraderie that is evident in the lively conversation that has gone on incessantly since our arrival is greatly promising. I look forward to seeing what kind of progress we can make this week as we continue to grow closer together in our attempts to ease the pain that New Orleans still suffers almost four years after Katrina. For now, though, we must rest. I expect tomorrow will bring us great stories to relate back in this blog. If it doesn’t, that probably means we’re not working hard enough.

Bobby Wade