The Big Easy

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New Orleans holds a very special place in my heart and it was an incredible honor for me to travel back to serve this community, embrace the beautiful New Orleans life and enjoy the delicious food! My whole passion for service truly began when I was young, my parents instilling the importance of giving back and thinking of others first. However, as I got older, I had one special experience that began to reignite the love for service that resides in the depths of who I am and who I strive to be. This experience was New Orleans, my very alternative break volunteer trip. I then traveled back to New Orleans the following year, leading another trip. And now, for a third year in a row, I am blessed to travel back to New Orleans- I truly believe this place has a piece of my heart at all times!

To start our week off, we had to drive for 24 hours straight from New Mexico to New Orleans in the hopes of meeting up with our new and very last team of 2013! Through the very long drive, we finally made it to New Orleans and were able to celebrate a fun-upbeat mass with our new team! This was the liveliest mass of Catholics I have ever seen…there was a jazz band for goodness sake! Our week continued to follow in the footsteps of excitement! 

We worked with Fred Franky, coordinator of a volunteer and homeless organization in the heart of New Orleans. We worked on painting the interior of a local school that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, planted 2000 plants to help the coast of Louisiana on Grand Isle Beach as well as play BINGO with those who reside in a retirement home. It was an amazing, tiring and adventurous week.

Someone from our team broke her hand by dropping a bed on it while transporting furniture, Claire and I got foot massages and our group went to the local “Rock N’ Bowl” where we danced the night away to live music! This week we truly experienced New Orleans by traveling to local places on the street cars. There is nothing greater than using typical transportation…I didn’t feel like we were in the United States- that’s for sure!

Claire and I stayed in the smallest room that we had stayed in all summer…I love the girl like she is my sister so we didn’t mind- I actually think we enjoyed it too much, staying up all night giggling and doing each other’s hair. I have been beyond blessed by having my newest and dearest friend Claire to work alongside me all summer! I am not ready to head back to Texas...feeling very bittersweet and having a hard time finding words to write.


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