though it's been six years since hurricane katrina swept through new orleans, the recovery effort still marches on. in some areas of the city there are no obvious signs of the destruction caused by the storm, but in other areas the scars are still very evident. in the span of a block you will see many well cared for homes with fresh coats of paint, but sprinkled between are abandoned homes with overgrown lawns that have yet to be salvaged from the storm. the large X's that search crews used to mark the homes when checking for survivors are still visible all across the city. there is still work to be done.
my mom and i went down to louisiana with a team from calvary to work with an organization called touch global. they have been there since the beginning and are committed to continue serving the community, long after most of the other relief agencies have moved out. the majority of the people still needing assistance have similar stories. they hired contractors to rebuild their homes with the money received from insurance settlements, government assistance, etc., but instead of completing the needed repairs on the homes these contractors skipped town, money in hand. touch global has a waiting list of people still needing help so we headed down to serve wherever we were needed.
our team of seven ladies spent the week working at jj's house. the overall goal was to make some progress on scraping, sanding and priming the house...but we also caulked, weeded and removed a chain link fence. since our touch global site supervisor was in charge of multiple work sites, i put my habitat skills to work and became our job foreman. while we did get some work accomplished, my favorite part of this trip by far was our team. we had a ton of fun listening to heidi's stories, dancing on the sidewalk and enjoying each others company. it was a 24-7 laugh fest.
after our work week was over my mom, heidi and i stayed an extra day to explore new orleans and soak up the cajun culture. we had beignets at cafe du monde, walked along the riverfront, rode the streetcars, strolled through tulane university, listened to live music and experienced a night on bourbon street.
you can click here for more pictures of our week and our adventure in the city.