Sunday, February 10, 2008

Obama in NOLA

From my friend, Noelle

I am proud to be a delegate for Obama!

I love a place I've never actually visited...

I don't really remember when it started. Maybe it was the sadly beautiful photograph of Bourbon Street in the midst of hurricane Hugo that hung in our living room when I was growing up. Or my mother's stories of the people, the music, and the food. Maybe it was the music and the fact that I have always loved good Jazz and the rousing sound of Zydeco. Or the attaction to a city with such a rich and diverse background. Maybe it was even something as silly as my brother's love of the city and a little sister's desire to be just like her big brother! Whatever it was, for as long as I can recall I have loved New Orleans. I dreamt about the day I could go and give in fully to my love affair with this fine city.

In late August of 2005, I had just moved to Auburn, WA and I knew nobody. I was so deeply moved and saddened by the images on the television. The city I love was flooded, broken, and mostly, ignored. I remember talking to my friend J on the phone, my heart breaking from the reality of what was happening. I cried for the people, the music, the culture, the food, and for the city itself.

In July of 2008, almost 3 years after Katrina hit New Orleans, I will finally get to meet the city I love, face to face. I will be part of a group of volunteers going to New Orleans with Seattle Works. We will be working with Hands on New Orleans to help in the rebuilding efforts, mostly in the 9th Ward. This isn't the trip I imagined when I was young, but in many ways it is more fitting. Love is about standing by someone (or in this case, somewhere) when the times are good and when they are bad. I love New Orleans for all that it is, all that it was, and all that it will be again. My love doesn't fade because she has been hurt and bruised. My love has grown because of the spirit the people have shown in the face of horrific circumstances. The people are survivors. New Orleans is a survivor! I will be honored to be part of rebuilding efforts of an amazing, strong, and beautiful city!