Wednesday, March 15, 2006

New Orleans: Day Two

We finished our first house today then decided to take a peek at tomorrow's work before heading home. It's in the, now famous, ninth ward- one of the hardest hit areas.

As soon as we crossed the river we saw what we hadn't seen so far - devastation. Yesterday I talked about the internal damage to homes. In the ninth ward there are homes off their foundation, shrimp boats in neighborhoods and we saw an in-ground, concrete swimming pool in someone's front yard. Not sure how that happened.

But when we got to our house it had already been gutted by another team earlier this week. So I don't know where we'll be tomorrow.

The ninth ward is a large area, probably two miles or more east to west and a mile north to south. It's homes and shopping centers. It looks like a war zone. Just about every business is boarded up - whole shopping centers. And the neighborhoods are mostly deserted. People have moved to live with relatives or friends. We talked to one family that was back just to clean up then they are leaving. They don't have any neighbors that are staying. It's all very weird. I don't see any answers to this other than to bulldoze acres and acres. The ninth ward had an oil spill contaminating the floodwaters, so I don't see how people can even consider rebuilding. I guess when that's all you have, you do what you have to do.

We've talked to a few people but no dramatic encounters. Still two days to go. But I really think the best encounters so far are within the team. I'm really enjoying getting to know everyone and working hard together. It's a great experience and something that I know will serve as a model for the rest of Cedarbrook.

I'm taking the crew out for some Cajun food tomorrow so I won't be writing again until Friday. Thanks for your interest and prayers for us.

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