2008: Traveling Day: Oakland to New Orleans   Leave a comment

Today was a traveling day – from Oakland, CA to New Orleans, LA.
10 am. We met at 7:00 am at the Oakland airport. Flying Southwest. Dan, Bonnie, Amy, Sylvia, Patsy, Kathe, Heinz, and Nancy are traveling together. We met Katherine, Michael, and Makenda are at the airport – they are taking a different route, through Los Vegas. We take our first set of pictures!

On the plane. Dan napped, Amy knitted and did crochet. Nancy, Patsy, Sylvia, and Kathe read. Heinz had a GPS and it was showing that the plane was going 545 MPH. Bonnie played peak-a-boo with the toddler, Quinlan, in the row ahead. Nancy showed his three-year-old sister how to spell her name, Taryn (a Gaelic name) in sign language.
12:30 pm became 2:30 pm when we landed in Houston. Salads and sandwiches for lunch all around. On our way from Houston to New Orleans, we met a man going to Pearlington, Mississippi with a group from the Presbyterian church. They sent 19 people last year and will send 17 this year. He told Bonnie about a schoolyard in Pearlington with a basketball hoop – the water line after Katrina was two feet above the rim of the basket…  Another man told me he liked our "Faith + Works = Justice" hats.
4:30 pm. We have landed. Looking at the wetlands from the plane – a different landscape. Trees were standing in water and were surrounded by something bright, almost fluorescent green. (algae?) The muddy brown water of the Mississippi. We could see how the highways are raised to be above water level.
We arrive! Ardith and Ruth Ann are here; they flew in from Chicago. They give us a tour: dorms, lounge (with computers!), showers, kitchen, theater. Then we go across the street for drinks and dinner at the Saltwater Grill. Oysters! Crayfish! Shrimp! A delicious, long, relaxing meal. Off for a walk after dinner. Past O’Henry’s where the group ate on their last night last year. Past Rite Aid and orchid shops. Somehow our feet ended up at the Coldstone Creamery. Yummm. Then more walking. The jasmine smells sweet.
We cross the railroad tracks and walk uphill to the top of a levee. We can see two houseboats – they looked like floating buildings – crossing each other on the river, and hear a chorus of frogs. We walk back along the side of the street where we ‘live’ – it is a street of churches. We are staying at St. Matthew’s UCC on Carrollton Street. Making beds – getting settled. Ann, from First Congregational in Stockbridge, MA knows Amy’s mother – they go to the same church! This is the fifth time that Ann has brought a workgroup down to NO. We found out that Ann’s group was painting the home of Mz Otha Jones – the same house that a group from Mira Vista UCC worked on when they were here last year!
Signing off –Bonnie


Posted May 3, 2008 by NOLA-er in Katrina Recovery

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