When I told my family and friends back home that I was going to New Orleans as a part of a group of Berklee volunteers to build houses with Habitat for Humanity, they were very happy for me, but they also had no idea that things were still so bad out here. I have to admit that I didn’t know either.
I remember seeing these terrifying images and praying for folks who were fighting for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. It was all over the news for a while and then, the media moved on.
Here we are, 9 years later, and New Orleans is still in the process of being rebuilt,one home at a time; it seems like a drop in the ocean, but it doesn’t take long to realize how much it means to the community. We’ve been working on a few construction sites on America Avenue in East New Orleans and if it’s not for the neighbors thanking us for being here, it’s a child waving at us from a car with the biggest smile on his face, or it’s the stories we hear from the families we are building these houses for. Knowing that we contribute, even in the smallest way possible, in helping them claim their neighborhood back, is the most amazing reward of all.
We are #BerkleeNOLA2015 and I’m truly honored to be a part of such an amazing group of people. No matter how hard things get, how hot and humid it is, how many blisters, aches, and pain we’ve accumulated…We laugh it off, we sing through it, we support each other, and we get the best out of everything we do.
I’d like to send a big shoutout to the committee who selected us, I can’t even begin to imagine how this trip would have been like if it wasn’t for Andrew, Ashley, Jessica, Jordan, Lori, Ruth, Sue, and earlier in the week, Tom. Thank you for allowing us to be here this week, Berklee is the best place to work at.