Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Making it into Town and Getting Started with Habitat for Humanity

This is the house I worked on today and yesterday.

This is a house that is typical of most in the area surrounding the Habitat for Humanity's Musician Village.

Hey Dear Reader! I made it! I got here to New Orleans on Easter Sunday, just as planned. On the way into town I heard that there was an Easter Parade right in the part of town where I am staying -- but alas, I missed that parade due to getting a flat. Oh well. There were so many things that went my way on Easter Sunday that I can't really complain about missing a parade.

(There are so many parades and festivals in New Orleans that the telephone wires that line the streets have beads dangling off of them! Also, there are permanant parade parking signs on the streets. That really cracked me up as I got into town.)

So, on Sunday I crossed over the Mississippi one more time to get into New Orleans. That was a bit tricky, and I was relieved after it was over. Then, top my delight, the sun came out and there was a bike path along the levee all the way into New Orleans. I must have ridden that path for 20 miles before getting off and going into the city.

The part of town I got into looked pretty good. Some of the homes I saw were HUGE and magnificant. But the roads were horrible, which is why I got a flat. I'm told that the roads are as bad as they are here becuase the water table is so high. That is also why all the caskets in a cemetery are buried above ground. In any case, I found my hostel and took myself out to dinner to congratulate myself on 1,500 miles well travelled.

Yesterday morning I got up late-- but thanks to roommate Lee not too late-- and headed over by bike to the Habitat for Humanity Musicians' Village in the upper 9th ward. Nothing prepared me for the kind of destruction I saw heading into the 9th ward. The flooding due to Hurricane Katrina brought so much devastation to this area and to the Gulf Coast. I'll be there all week working on a house with volunteers from all over the country who have come to help out the devastated area. Over the course of the week I'll write about volunteering and I will share pictures with you.


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