The Symmetry of Giving - Katrina Five Years Out.
I was incredibly privileged to spend the last week in New Orleans – NOLA, as it’s called, even the acronym sweet and easy – among volunteers who descended from across the country to take part in Habitat for Humanity’s ‘5 houses within 5 days buildathon’ to commemorate Katrina’s 5th anniversary. Because we had volunteered with New Orleans Habitat for Humanity before, we were among those invited to be a part of this historic effort.
The work took place in the 7th Ward, a poor area smashed to bits by Katrina’s wrath, and the goal was truly ambitious. Five foundations having been poured, we had 5 days to complete the framing, siding, roofing, windows and external doors on 5 lots. We labored in daunting conditions – oppressive humidity and a sizzling sun from which there was no escape. And the work itself – lifting and moving ladders and heavy materials, installing roofing, siding, insulation and windows, taping and caulking – was so exhausting that by the end of the day, we were barely able to walk the short distance back to our car which was parked just around the block.
And yet, the experience was nothing short of exhilarating. It’s hard not to fall deeply and irretrievably in love with the people of New Orleans, so gentle and unassuming, yet so resourceful and determined. Accustomed to asking for and receiving nothing, they sit in silent disbelief as Habitat volunteers and community members move in like a wave, bringing life, renewal and hope to communities wracked by devastation and despair. Like Christmas in August. An elderly man in a Cleveland Indians cap sitting on the porch of his modest home, watching as two abandoned garbage strewn lots across the street are transformed into dwellings. A young woman sitting on a stoop, young child in her arms, standing up to dance and cheer as the roof of one of the houses is raised. The quiet dignity and unbreakable spirit of those whose suffering can be seen in their tired eyes touched me in ways profound and unexpected, and left me feeling connected and moved beyond imagination.
Working side by side of volunteers of all races, ages, economic status, religion, places of origin and political spectrum, I couldn’t help but feel grounded, alive, inspired, purposeful and ultimately joyful. Hot, tired, sweaty, achy but spiritually soothed and joyful.
So, for the last five days, that’s where you’d find me and my family – on a lot at the corner of Frenchmen and N. Roman – defying the heat and pushing the limits of physical endurance and my abilities, in order to do my small part in a grand grass-roots movement of rebuilding and renewal. And through my efforts, I was able to experience my own sense of spiritual rebirth, an unexpected gift that will sustain me for some time to come.
- Is it possible Wardrobe Cash advance loan On the web to Beat Classes Rates Prior to when Sept .? easy loan
- Things You Should become aware of Just before getting A useful Payday loan unlocked iphone 4 quad band
- Learn how to Pave the Way For loans Whilst Laid off By way of A bad credit score personalloans
- How Do I Have a Payday advances Mortgage company Will Belief? housing loans
- Payday cash loans Details Your Alarming Point About Them online loan
- A useful Check into Cash advances how to unlock iphone 4 5.0.1 with cydia
- Fast payday loans Commonly are not Very good Replacing Business opportunities va home loan
- Payday loans Are awesome Yet Reimburse them punctually payday advance
- Receive an Online Payday Loan Getting Fast cash Prior to when the Subsequently Pay period unlock iphone 5 free
- Pressing Cash Loans Carry on with Your dollars Urgent situation Quickly With no Wait the loans