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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

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New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
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Registered: December 2007
City/Town/Province: Martin
Posts: 1
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As a resident of Michigan, I never realized how severely Hurricane Katrina truly devastated the people of New Orleans. I knew many homes and buildings were destroyed, but I did not know much more information than that. My local church organized a mission trip to Louisiana to rebuild homes for families in New Orleans. When I first heard about this opportunity, I was very interested and excited to partake in it. I have done many community service activities around my town but nothing this extreme. Our trip was from November 17th to the 24th of 2007. I left many things behind me to participate in this Katrina Relief Mission Trip. I left my school, my cheerleading squad, my friends, my boyfriend, and most of all, I missed Thanksgiving dinner with my family. Even though it felt like I left everything important back in Michigan, it was still worth it to help families in need.

One would think that after many years that Hurricane Katrina hit, the damage and destruction would no longer be present. I for one believed this. When we finally arrived in New Orleans, we took a drive around the city. Numerous buildings and houses were still demolished from Katrina. We could see the waterlines on the buildings where the flood settled for weeks. Spray paint markings were on a great deal of the untouched buildings, leaving a code of the condition of each structure. There were piles of garbage and remnants of destroyed buildings along the sides of the roads. There were numerous men and woman living under the overpasses because they lost everything in flood. I was shocked by the condition of the city. While we were down there, I got the chance to speak with the homeowner of the house we were fixing-up. Her name was Ms. Anne and she was so appreciative of us being there. She explained that she was no longer allowed to stay in her FEMA trailer after December 8th. If her house was not finished by that date, she would be homeless. We got a great deal of work accomplished in our short time of being there. Her home was in a livable condition after we left. I completed a great deal of painting and trim work while I was in New Orleans. Even though my tasks seemed minor, I knew every little bit counted.

While we were staying in Louisiana, we got to see many creatures foreign to Michigan. There were cockroaches everywhere around the city, as well as in the church we stayed in. In addition, when we were at our work site, we found and played with many lively geckos. These creatures are not found in the area I live in. It was so interesting to see and experience new things when I was down there.

The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative scholarship is such an amazing opportunity for volunteers to earn money for school. Generous students can get recognized for their service to the community and can be rewarded for it. This scholarship opportunity is such a great way for people that give so much to the community, to get something great and unexpected in return.

The people of New Orleans have been overlooked since the first year after Hurricane Katrina. There are numerous families that still struggle each day as a result of the hurricane and flood. The government needs to realize how much these residents truly still need their help. Everyone needs to recognize that the people of New Orleans are still in great devastation and will most likely stay that way for years to come. I am so glad I took the time out of my everyday life to assist those in need. This experience will be one I will remember forever. I cannot wait until my next opportunity to take part in something like this again.
Date: December 26, 2007 Views: 5204 File size: 23.7kb, 32.3kb : 420 x 280
Hours Volunteered: 38
Volunteers: 26
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 13 to 70
Native Trees Planted: 2
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