Last full day in New Orleans

Friday, March 12, 2010

Today was our last full day in New Orleans.  Luckily it was a beautiful day. We got out to the levee as early as possible.  Because we had covered so much land with trees previously we had to travel 5 miles along the levee before we could find fresh ground.  Unfortunately the tractor that took us out there could only travel 5 mph.  This means it took us a full hour from the time we got on the tractor until we reach the spot we were going to be working.  We planted trees until we ran out and then started our trek back until the tractor made it out to us.

Back at the campsite we had homemade jambalaya which I loved and also had a visit from a guest speaker.  The man that came to speak to us was Sgt. Marshall Pierre.  He was a security guard at Charity Hospital, located in the center of New Orleans.  When the storm hit they lost all power and were stranded.  They had hundreds of patients to care for and many needed someone to hand pump air to them.  The water quickly turned the hospital into an island.  Help was unable to reach the hospital for days and, risking his life from nearby gunfire, Pierre ventured out of the hospital to get some babies to safety.  During and after the storm he had a camera rolling and some of the footage was terrifying.  I again saw something that seemed to be a trend in those who survived the storm: complete optimism for the future and a love of life.  Meeting so many people like this really made me question the way I view the world and my influence in it.

Because we had to leave for our flight at 2am the next morning we stayed up for the night packing and enjoying our last hours in New Orleans.
Five miles of levee

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