Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day two on the job

We just finished up our second day at the work site. Today we spent most of our time loading and unloading a UHaul full of supplies. I took an opportunity to walk around the school a bit more (it's HUGE). I took a few photos of some lesson plans written on the chalk board in a few classes on the 3rd floor, dated August 26, 2005. Two days before Katrina. It was eerie. The place hadn't been touched since. One of the messages on the board: "Have a safe weekend." I smiled and choked up at the same time.

Tonight, we feast on West African cuisine, and will probably take in a show.

I realize I sort of went off in my post last night, but I can't help but feel agitated about seeing this city continue to fall by the wayside as we all go on about our own life crises. As one New Orleanian pointed out to me, it's funny how the government...our government...can look at an area like New Orleans and the Lower 9th Ward and say flat out that they don't have the billions of dollars it would take to build a levee that can withstand a category 5 hurricane, but then turn around and spend $850 billion on a "levee" around a 2-block area in downtown Manhattan called Wall Street. Our priorities as a nation (and yes, as long as we call ourselves American, we have to take responsibility over how our money is spent and begin holding our leaders accountable for crap like this) are frightening. Someone once said that a "budget" is as much a moral document as a financial one. The situation here in New Orleans has made that point clear to me.

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