I’m finally here in NOLA! I’m so happy and excited to be here, I flew from home Friday morning and landed at about 1:20 that afternoon. I moved in immediately. I met my housemates shortly there after. They are great and I think I’m going to have a great year jut based on these past two days. Our first actual day was spent in Baton Rouge, where 110,00 homes were devastated by flooding caused by the 1,000 year storm, which is when more than three inches fell in an hour. An estimated 4 trillion gallons of water fell, according to arstechnia.com, from Thursday to Saturday. We worked in particular home that was just awful. They had just 10 minutes to evacuate with only the clothes on their backs and the family dog. You could see a line of deep the water got in the house. I would say about 6 feet in some areas and 7 in others. I was astounded. This family had to demolish their entire home because by the time they were allowed in the house (which was a week later) mold had began to grow on the walls. Patrick spent most of his day ripping down walls while Savannah, Riley, and I categorized and wrote down everything this family owned. From a trumpet and a trombone to stuffed animals, clothes, and pots and pans. Everything needed to be written down from type of object, the serial and model numbers, and finally, a picture needed to be taken. If you didn’t have expensive flood insurance, you have to make a claim with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). At that  point, you could only get $33,000, which is not enough to cover a new home, let alone everything inside. This family had a ton of help, but they still needed more. Other families down the street didn’t have anyone else, but themselves. I heard a story of a young family with a set of twins had to be evacuated 5 times because every house they were in kept flooding. The whole time I kept thinking “I couldn’t imagine if this was me.” This morning, after talking to my roommates, I had an epiphany. These people are grieving just like a family grieving the loss of a loved one. They are not only grieving the loss of their belongings, but their lives beforehand. Just days before they were living their lives, getting ready to head to college, working, spending the last few days of summer in the sun and instantaneously their lives were swept away by a river. This experience has taught me that possessions may contain memories and thoughts of people, like Mammaw’s meat pie recipe that I wrote down from a wet index card to try to help, but they are just that. They are things. They aren’t what make this family a family. Now It’s time to rebuild and try to recover. Please, pray for the people in and surrounding Baton Rouge as they continue the grieving and healing, recovery process. I’m be posting every Sunday or trying to. We’ll be at orientation in Stony Point, New York this week. I’ll fill you in about that next week. Love and Blessings!

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