NOLA Alternative Spring Break

Wentworth Institute of Technology goes on Alternative Spring break to New Orleans to rebuild a home lost during Katrina. 
We arrived in NOLA to warmth and sunshine and a free day to explore the French Quarter! All smiles and excitement, the day was all about fun before we got to the serious work the next day. (the entire group in the photo below...except Filipe...where is he?)
And then we got right to work! Everyone was enthusiastic to help our homeowner Marty who talked about the story of his family and their long history in New Orleans. 
Aidan and Zach tackled the clean up after we pulled up flooring that had sat underwater for months after Katrina.

Braedon, Anzia, Britney, Jamie, Zach and Taylor salvaged bricks destined for the dumpster. Marty's father built the house with bricks that had been made by slaves.
Everyone in The Van! There was lots of music from our favorite radio station, Voodoo 104.1...and a little napping on our way from place to place.
 Filipe and Zach pulling up hardwood floor.
When we finished our work at Marty's home we had a ceremonial tree planting. Each of us added a bit of new earth to the ground and planted our baby blood orange tree.

On our last day in NOLA we worked with Green Light New Orleans. This organization swaps out inefficient incandescent light bulbs for energy saving CFL's. We went door to door delivering and changing bulbs and educating the community about energy efficiency. It was an amazing experience to be in people's homes and hear their stories.

It was an amazing experience for everyone. New Orleans left an impression on us all, that no matter how devastating and hard life is, when a community comes together to help one another, anything is possible. There is still so much to do in New Orleans. Nearly six years after hurricane Katrina there are still thousands of homes that need to be rebuilt and many families that need our help. I hope to return someday soon and do it all over again.

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