It's official! I am going to New Orleans' 9th Ward with BonaResponds, a group of 250 students, faculty, alumni, and community members interested in helping with Hurricane Katrina cleanup.
The opportunity presented itself a month or so ago. I was reading the Inside Bonas or Notice Board or something and saw this call for volunteers. I thought, what else am I doing over spring break? This body of mine certainly isn't ready for Daytona - and may never be again. I would be sitting in my cozy home thankful I have one. I may as well put my muscles to work helping others.
We got our location assignments yesterday. It was either New Orleans or Biloxi, MS. I have to admit that while I did say I was willing to go anywhere and do anything, part of me is sad I am going to be in New Orleans. I think much of that reason is because I have been to New Orleans. I attended a conference in NO, I ate in NO, I drank in NO, I wandered NO. I don't know if I'm ready to see a different side of NO. Granted, none of my revelry took me to the 9th Ward, but I won't be able to escape it.
This may also serve as a blessing. I will have perspective. Having been to NO and partaken of what she has to offer (and those hurricanes - the drink - will kick you in the ass every time), I think I may look around with a bit of recognition. I think.
I have a feeling this trip is going to change many things in my life. More on that as it occurs.
But I get on the bus on Friday for a 20 hour ride to a battle zone. Then I spend a week immersed in what I'd been reading about. We'll see how large my scars are on the return trip.