Day 3 – New Orleans
After a pretty late wakeup from everyone, we rushed over to the St. Bernard Community Center to serve the Ninth Ward community for a little bit. The Ninth Ward was one of the hardest hit, if not the hardest hit, area in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. Driving out there from the hotel, we passed a house after broken down house, empty, boarded up KFC’s and convenience stores, and quick cash-n-loan stores, all speaking of the tragedies of the past few years, telling us stories of a place forgotten by its own government, a place where the opportunities are simply not equal for them, yet a place where hope and love still thrive.
This seems to be one of the key themes I am learning about our country – that is, our capacity for our personal altruism and hope. Whether this altruism is real or false is irrelevant, because, you can really only look at a person’s actions and not into their minds or hearts. That is why I say perceived personal altruism – simply working a 9 to 5 to keep your head above water and food on the table for friends and family is more than enough; for others, it’s traveling to Thailand to stop human trafficking. These choices are much more an evidence of our class background and not dedication to humanity, a distinction that is beginning to give me clearer eyes as I navigate my path and look at other people.