26 December 2005

Leaving Biloxi and Returning to New Orleans

Tuesday night, we ate dinner, again with Annie, an exchange student from Pakistan, living in Oregon. We ate the previous night with her, sharing our pasta due to her being a Muslim and not eating pork and the food being served involving pork. However, that night, she ate from what was served and she sat at our table with us, and we continued conversing with her. After dinner, we had volunteered to clean up for the evening, which hopefully looked good for us. Afterwards, we went to sleep.
I woke up the next morning a little after five and packed up my stuff to go and we were off on the road less than an hour and a half later, and then arrived in New Orleans another hour and a half. There, we met up with a guy named Adam, who is in charge of public relations for the Jewish Federation down here, who mentioned that, pre-Katrina, he lobbied and stuff; now, he is trying to get together stuff for relief work - a huge change. In any event, he handed us over to work with a retiree from Ann Arbor, Michigan, named Bob, who had a little carry-on case of tools. As far as the relief crew for the federation we were it - us seven YCTers, one wife of a YCTer, and Bob. We went out to a someone's house whose fence had fallen down and needed to be taken away and replaced. As the pictures attest, we completed the task. However, what was a stark contrast from working with Hands On USA was a couple things: lack of supplies/equipment - whereas with HOUSA, we had an ample supply of tools, here, we have Bob's bag and whatever tools the householder owns. Although this wasn't too bad, it slowed us down terribly. A second thing was with HOUSA, the leaders had a clearer knowledge of what to do, whereas here - not. Anyways, after finishing the fence and the thanking by the couple whose fence we fixed, we made it to dinner at Casablanca - a nice middle Eastern restaurant. I enjoyed a lovely harira soup, an Eres beer, a Sprite, and a couscous platter with baked chicken and veggies. It was quite some good eating! We also took Bob with us from the work site, so that was neat. Following that, we then went to the Chabad House, meeting some of the students and then Maurice led a little class on disabilities and Judaism. While his class was informative, and he had sources, although I was critical of his texts, the session was good for me as it made me think a little further upon this topic and brought me a step closer to an understanding of how to deal with/treat those with disabilities. Afterwards, we dropped off people at Touro Hospital, where five of us were staying, and then Ben Greenberg and I - the kohanim in the group - went to stay at the JCC, where the boys from the Chabad restoration project were staying. We then prepared our things and went to bed.
(PS - I originally composed this either Wednesday night or Thursday, but I just noticed that their website mentions volunteers, but not us - so not cool!)

1 comment:

In the Lee of the Wind said...

there is functioning kosher food in NO? Wow what progress!