This March, 41 Nobles students and eight chaperones traveled to New Orleans—the school’s sixth community service trip since Hurricane Katrina. Every student was encouraged to journal and reflect on the experience. Below is an entry from Cody:
Upon arriving in New Orleans, I was really excited and couldn’t wait to get started. Our first night was spent getting organized, eating and discussing what we were going to do during the week. On Monday of that week, I was assigned to work on the home of a woman named Courtnay LaRouge. We tiled her entire bathroom for her, under the supervision of St. Bernard Project leaders, Marshall (nicknamed Marshmallow) and Trevor (nicknamed Trevvy).
On day two, we returned to her home finished the bathroom and went to the ribbon cutting ceremony of another home which was just rebuilt; we got to meet the owner of the house and hear her story of how her house was destroyed and the long process of rebuilding. The feelings of happiness and gratitude were overwhelming at times.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I was assigned to work at the St. Bernard Middle School. I donated some books to the school, read to them, helped them with their schoolwork, and then went outside to build them a vegetable garden with hand-painted bricks to decorate it. When digging the soil for the garden, I realized just how bad the flooding must have been as there were seashells, tins, silverware and all kinds of other misplaced items in the soil. It was very surreal to realize what had taken place in that very spot just 6 and one half years ago.
I am still in contact on Facebook and e-mail with the children from the school, and I hope to someday go back to visit New Orleans to continue with their recovery.
I almost feel guilty after doing community service as it makes me feel good to help others so much that it never feels like work at all. This trip to New Orleans was a very humbling experience in knowing that everyday life is a struggle for people who live in the same country as me. This trip reassured my instincts that I will always continue to help those less fortunate than myself.