Sunday – Worship, Picnic, Garden Quarter   Leave a comment

We all slept well on our bunk beds. Well, except for those in the women’s dorm when a 2:30 am alarm  went off: the previous group needed to get up and head to the airport! Found our way to the showers (in another building), coffee, and into the lounge by 9:00 am for an orientation talk by Arlene, who is from St. Matthews. She told us that this area of town is pretty much back to normal by now. In the outlying areas, it could take eight more years to recover. The 9th ward "is nothing." New Orleans East is coming back. Gentilly is coming back, slowly. It is about 10-15 minutes from here. It has the fairegrounds and is where the Jazz Festival was. Arlene said that it is more worthwhile for people from out of town to come to volunteer their labor and, even more important, their moral support than to send money to hire contractors. Another kind of support that is helpful is in a book written by John Pecoul called "Beyond Katrina" – how to help the government to keep Katrina-type disasters from happening again.
 
Arlene told us to beware of the buck moth caterpillars – they sting.
 
We joined the congregation of St. Matthews for worship at 10 am. We were welcomed warmly. It was communion Sunday. There is a marvelous bas-relief of the Last Supper at the front of the church, under a very familiar painting of Jesus praying in Gethsemene.  Another service, held later in the day, is all in German. The minister for that service is connected with the Seaman’s Chapel at the port.
 
We went separate ways after the service. Some of us to a church picnic at a private home on the bayou. I hear there was plenty of food, including lots of crayfish. Others went on the trolley to walk in the Garden District. We passed Tulane University along the way. We saw beautiful houses with balconies, rocking chairs, pillars, gardens, and lots and lots of buck moth caterpillars along the sidewalks under the shady trees. We found postcards and interesting children’s books in a local bookstore: Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood by Mike Artell, and P is for Pelican: A Louisiana Alphabet by Anita Prieto.  We sat in the shade and drank lemonade.
                             
Ardith and Ruth Ann went off – in a limousine no less!!! (borrowed!) to pick up Susan and Barbara at the airport. Now we are all relaxing in the lounge. I almost lost this blog – the monitor went dark. Michael somehow got it to come on again. Whew! Plans for dinner are under discussion. 
 
Signing off –Bonnie
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Posted May 4, 2008 by NOLA-er in Uncategorized

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