Sunday, November 12, 2006

NOLA-Day Five

Well, it's the fifth day and in keeping with its original mission, Sunday was a day of rest.

As mentioned before, HandsOn New Orleans operates out of a church. The First Union Methodist Church located on Dryades. Reverend Eden, a young and dynamic preacher, preached quite the sermon today. We could hear it in the bunkhouse and it reverberated off of the walls. The "breast" reference turned quite a few heads. I thought about attending. I laid back down in my bunk somewhere about 5:30AM after I showered.
6:00AM rolled around. Then 7:00AM. Then 7:15. Then 8:00AM appeared, when is when the service began. I could hear it lound and clear. in fact, I thought for a moment that it was on the radio. Somewhere in my early teens, my mother took to listening to religious services on the radio. The station was WILD, which unlike NOLA, was one of the very few stations devoted to a format that serve a Black population. Sunday began with Christian services and ended with Islam. There was the usual mix of gospel songs. Then there were the news programs. I was surprised that I had forgotten all of that until now.

After getting ready, I walked around the neighborhood with one of the members of our team named Christy. She was one of the members of the group that I spoke to the least, even though her name was familiar to me. I found that we had more in common than one would think and that she was a great charmer of cats. There was a black cat that looked at us and that definitely did not want a part of me. Seh

The Boston Cares group went to have brunch at the Columns Hotel located at 3500 St. Charles Avenue. Two benefactors from Boston set it up as a 'thank you' to us before we all left on the trip back home. The hotel is beautiful. The paneling alone makes you feel that this is a special space. It definitely This hotel was also the setting for Louis Malle's movie with Brooke Shields called "Pretty Baby."

Brunch was wonderful. I had the smoked pork tenders with sweet potatoes and REAL key lime pie. It was nice to have champagne for breakfast on a day that was not New Year's Day.

We all took a group photo on the steps as well. It was a bittersweet moment because it would be the last time that we would all be together.

Later on we were left to our own devices. Those who had not seen the Ninth Ward took a tour there. Others went on the Riverwalk and others went downtown. I went downtown. I thought that I had joined the group that intended to go downtown. I was mistaken and mad at myself for not paying attention. I consoled myself with the fact that I got to change into my jeans, which was an opportunity that I would not have had.

I walked part of the way downtown and took a cab the rest of the way since I was unsure. I also figured that I would memorize the path and walk it on my return. My cab driver was another Katrina victim. No house really to speak of left. He had to resort to renting. I was dropped off near Jackson Square.

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