My trip to the Gulf Coast with volunteers from Hands On Portland ended on Sunday. I wrote continuously while I was there, cataloging every experience so that my leaky memory wouldn’t fail me when I wanted to reflect.
I had a wonderful time and made some lifelong friends. Karol wrote eloquently nearly every day. While there, I worked on mold removal in a house the owner had built himself, spent a day talking and telling dirty jokes with people living with HIV at the Lazarus Project, and spent a day cleaning out cages in a no-kill animal shelter. I also toured the Upper and Lower Ninth Wards, St. Bernand Parish and drove out to a Katrina-specific landfill located in the middle of a national preserve for wetlands.
I’m working on sorting out pictures and some of the words, but I’m not quite ready to write about what things were like in Biloxi and New Orleans. Maybe I just need a few days.
There’s so much to do there, still, two years later.