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Arriving at Habitat for Humanity's Camp Hope - Sunday, January 7
We're in New Orleans. It was a great 24 hours on the bus. Really. We got to know each other and some people actually slept. So far, we checked into Camp Hope at 9 am, found our rooms, listened to an orientation session and took showers. Then we went off to the French Quarter to eat lunch and we were met by our tour guide, Marty from Cajun Pride Tours. She took us on a three hour tour of the city. We saw a lot of damage and we got a history lesson as well. We learned that from a city once home to 500,000 people, only 200,000 have made it back at least on a part-time basis. Here are a few more comments from the group.
COMMENTS ON OUR FIRST SIGHT OF NEW ORLEANS 2007
The tour was amazing. I had no idea that New Orleans had so much history with houses dating back to the 1700s.... It was shocking to see the faint yellow line that stripped across the houses that Katrina hit. I had no idea the water level got so high. Shana Secory
It wasn't until we drove around the hundreds of miles of the city and saw the thousands of homes demolished by Katrina that I truly understood the impact of this storm. Lori Stroik
Considering the fact that we are the most powerful nation in the world, it really surprises me that our country has still not taken the proper steps, after 16 months, to help people who are still displaced from their homes. Athena Westin
The city itself was brilliant, yet the magnitude of the destruction in its surrounding areas is devastating to the heart. Jon Meiners
As we drove through the demolished ghost towns, I felt as if a magnet was pulling my jaw toward the floor. It was far beyond the devasation I had expected. My heart goes out to the people of New Orleans. Jaci Bernard
Of the 125 public schools in New Orleans, only 12 are currently open. Vicky Schneider
I didn't know what to expect and seeing all of the damage still here and the hope that has been lost, I hope we can give some of that back. Jessica Rossing
The devastation of the surrounding landscape made me hold my breath, like someone treading water. Aaron Lassila
Houses are still full of trash, and most homes still haven't been claimed by the owners. Jessica Lewis
While most people have forgotten about Katrina, 16 months later; New Orleans still needs a lot of help. Paul Williams
The spirit of the locals we have met thus far will make all the hard work we put forth worthwhile - everyone deserves a home. Heather Ronning
I am so happy we are here to help. Sarah Diener
Seeing... houses torn down, cars flipped over, and bathtubs in the middle of the lawn made us appreciate all that we have. Alyssa DeHate
And on a lighter side...
I really enjoyed experiencing all of the unique architecture. Katie Elton
Cafe Du Monde was delicious. David Wermerskircher
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