Friday, March 26, 2010

Final Thoughts

As I sat in the car driving home from Logan Airport, I began to process all the powerful experiences that I had been part of. First, I asked myself how it would feel to come to the place where I live and not have a home. When you walk down a street near the convent in which we worked, you see massive devastation. You see total emptiness, an empty school, an empty playground, and empty homes. However, when you look more carefully, you notice the beauty of the neighborhood. As the day goes on more and more people are walking in and out of the church, more and more people are sitting on their porches, and in the middle of all of it, you hear hammering and music. There is absolutely no way you can describe the emotions that I was feeling.

Yesterday, our group worked on finishing the demolition of the convent. A few of us finished removing the tile from the first floor while others helped in various demolition work. As a whole, you could see the teamwork and determination throughout the workday. A new group joined us as our numbers increased to over fifty volunteers. During some parts of the day, some people felt overwhelmed. Nonetheless, at lunch, Bridget, our site coordinator, requested that we played a name game. Every single Gann volunteer wanted to continue working. The hardworking mentality really helped us concentrate and focus on our work and we were able to accomplish all goals that we set on ourselves.

At reflecting time, something hit me. It was the last night I would spend in NOLA and I did not want to leave. I think that I can speak for everybody when I say that nobody wanted to leave. We all wanted to stay and do all we could to help fix the devastation. When Mr. Neudel asked the group what was one thing that everybody learned, I thought extremely hard. After hearing the various answers to this, something came to mind. Ms. Reimer mentioned during lunch earlier in the day that by building this community we were building a whole society. Therefore, I thought to myself that what we did this past week was not rebuilding. Rebuilding only applies to tangible items. However, through this community center we were not only rebuilding the actual structure, but also recharging the society and sense of community that was lost with the storm.

-Zach S.

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