December 05, 2006

The first day

So, yesterday (Monday), it turns out we didn't have any work scheduled. So after moving our stuff to the Salvation Army---a former homeless shelter that they've recommissioned as a Volunteer Village---we had some free time. We walked up Claiborne nearly to the Superdome, then turned around and walked back; and after lunch a bunch of us piled in a van and drove all over the city.

Some parts of the city are just gorgeous, much (presumably) as it's ever been; we drove through the Garden District, and the French Quarter, and saw the trolleys and so on. But then we drove up in to the north-central part of the city. Here there are a lot of houses that still have the big cross spray-painted on them with information about what was found inside when it was first opened. Many houses still had a visible high-water mark six or eight feet up the wall. An awful lot of them had untended yards; but then there were also a whole bunch that either looked brand new or freshly renovated. A few of the renovated ones that were brick-faced looked as though they'd tried to remove the cross but hadn't succeeded yet---not sure how recently they tried, though.

We continued up to Lake Pontchartrain, which like the Great Lakes is wide enough that you can't see the other side. There was a very empty feeling up here, which might have been how it always was, but as we passed the rusting hulk of a rest area it was clear that things weren't quite back to normal yet.

Then we headed back, grabbed dinner and went to the Hands On community meeting and got our work assignments for today. And after that I pulled together a bridge table (two learners, but they picked it up fast) and we played that for a couple hours before going to bed.

Posted by blahedo at 5:30pm on 5 Dec 2006
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