Friday, June 30, 2006

New Orleans - Volunteer Connections

Three months ago I finally made the move to begin volunteer work in New Orleans. A group called the "Weekend Warriors" from our UU church had been heading there since post Katrina to help out. I had been sitting on my urge to do something until Michael shared the need for volunteers during a service. I was moved to act, signed up, and within a week made my first trip to New Orleans as a volunteer.

Here begins my tribute to the people brave and proud enough to ask for help and the volunteers able to find the time and energy to do the work. I have been inspired from the start, and leave our monthly visits with more than dirty hands and an aching body. The time spent working with everyone fills my heart with hope, commitment, and connections. There is just SO much work to be done, overwhelmingly so, but with the determination and dedication of the New Orlean soul and the involvement of others, recovery can occur step by step.

I've taken my camera with me every time and can't help but to take pictures of the people that I'm with. I really hope that the images will give voice to the region and the people.

Let me introduce a few New Orleans citizens that I feel I can call friends.

The first person I got to help. It was a day of heat, weeds, and wonderful stories about her family.

Jolie with Lee, a contractor from Virginia
Jolie's gutted house has more character than many well lived-in homes.

Her home was covered with 18 ft. of water. She is now gutting the one she used to rent in NO so she'll be able to live there. When I asked her for permission to publish her photo, she didn't hesitate to say yes. She hopes that others will be able to get involved and help New Orleans.


Here are my friends that I volunteer with from our church. There's lots of love and power inside of them.






Jeanne, a NO resident, friend of Augusta

Augusta with Shirley

Irene (Boo!)

We did it!

Post-weeder Laura at Jolie's

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Rainy day ritual

During thunderstorms Grace and I usually create a little tent by one of the doors, open things up, and listen and watch. It's usually just the two of us with a few pillows. This past Tuesday she started transporting all of her special dolls, toys, books, pillows, blankets, and even her vase of flowers to keep us cozy. I thought it was the sweetest thing that she set them up looking outside too. What a love!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summer solstice frog

Smile! Summer has kicked in...I found this summer solstice frog hanging out in the sun & moon last night. He was a nice little surprise as I got some yard work done. These little frogs come out every night from their hideaway, but never have I seen one grinning away with the sun. Maybe he's a sign of having good life timing this summer.

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