Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Going to New Orleans

Brian Tempesta

Dr. Ellis

September 16, 2008

Event Write-up #1

A past service that I have done in my life which I will never forget was with Habitat for Humanity. Me and some other of my peers from my High School traveled over our winter to Louisiana, specifically New Orleans. As we all know it’s been years since Hurricane Katrina, but there are still parts of the city which are still recovering from the damage and loss of property. So my fellow peers and I who were apart of Habitat for Humanity traveled down to New Orleans for a few days to build houses for those who had lost everything, including their homes, during that tragic hurricane. When we arrived at the city itself it was for the most part back to normal, but when you reached the outskirts of the city, the damage was still there and vibrant. When meeting the families who we were helping, free of charge, they were so happy (feeling like they won the lottery). I met some very courageous, courteous and kind families in the area we focused on. Even though they had lost everything they owned, they were just thankful that we had come to help them and they were not alone. It put a big smile on my face knowing I did something for a complete stranger and they were so thankful. At the end of the trip we laid down the frame work for 5 of the “shotgun” style houses in the area we were focusing on. I would love to do that again or something along those lines any day any time in the city of Baltimore, or any other city for that matter.

Seeing the outskirts of the city of New Orleans was a shock to me. It was hard to believe that when those levees broke (no Led Zeppelin joke intended) and flooded most of the city, the government basically restored the city. Thus leaving the others to fend for themselves because insurance agencies also left them behind. It was definitely a reality check for my perspective on life, I began to think about how it would be if something like that happened to me and where my family would turn, it was not a happy feeling. I guess that is why I was so committed to working hard to better these fellow Americans current state. After that week I had a new outlook on life. I tried not to take such things for granted and to appreciate all the things I was lucky to have in my possession. I was very thankful to be blessed with my family, home, and my life so far. This trip was a very humbling experience for me, but it was also very exciting to be helping others. Many people lost everything they had that terrible day in New Orleans, I was happy that I could get some of them back in the right direction.

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