It wasn’t until the four young boys from the Habitat house next door came sprinting on to the lawn like a makeshift football team that I realized the magnitude of what my colleagues and I were doing in New Orleans as part of Berklee’s trip with Habitat for Humanity.
New Orleans (Page 1 of 14)
The devastation New Orleans went through during the hurricane in itself is hard to wrap your mind around, but going there and see with your own eyes the work that is still needed is truly heartbreaking.
Often when disasters happen around the world you have a deep sense of not being able to help out more. So to be able to volunteer and together with my awesome colleagues – people I am happy to be able to now call my friends, was such a rewarding experience.
It was very apparent that the 8 of us are very different personalities, but just as apparent that it didn’t matter, but only made it even more inspiring and interesting to work with one another. No matter the task and whom you were working with it was all about teamwork and how to best get the job done.
As I’m writing this blog I was reading through the blogs written by my new friends, and can only nod in agreement. Agreeing that you might leave a small mark of accomplishments with the work we did on the houses while there, but you carry with you a huge bag of memories and impressions that forever will be with you. Friendships that forever has being formed. Enjoyed the vibrant culture of New Orleans with all the music that thankfully still happening there.
The heat exhaustion and stomach bug I caught while there are minor issues that will quickly fade away. But the memories, the friendships, the sense of accomplishments will forever stay with me, and I’m very thankful to have been chosen to be part of this project.
It’s been a week since we had our last day at the site, working on the two houses in New Orleans, and it has been 10 years Berklee’s Gracenote program has been going to New Orleans working with Habitat for Humanity helping in the aftermath of Katrina. However our work is not done there, they still need our help and I truly hope that Berklee will continue to send faculty and staff to work with and help the people of New Orleans.
Well, that statement is fun to say but, personally, not even close to being true. Simply said, this trip and all the experiences that came with it will stay with ME for the rest of my life.
When I was informed that I would be joining Berklee faculty and staff on this last yearly “Habitat” trip to New Orleans, I was filled with unrelenting anticipation that made the days and weeks leading up the trip drag by slowly. Although I had heard amazing stories of team building, indulgent cuisine and loads of music from others that had gone before, I am still in awe of the fact that none of those stories can and would ever be able to describe what I would experience on this brief journey.
I never could have imagined what fantastic experiences, food and friends I would find when being accepted to the NOLA Gracenotes trip. There was a heartfelt goodbye at the airport as we one by one boarded our rides home. Only seconds later our text message chain made my phone buzz non stop and promises of monthly lunches put a huge smile on my face.