TRACY180   20,502
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New Orleans

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 6, 2010
Long bus ride begins.
Thought: How many of these people had to take time off of work to go on this trip? (We had around 40 people go.)
March 7, 2010
What will I see?
Will I be able to tell there even was a flood in 2005?
We drove down a long bridge across the Pontchartrain Lake. It felt like an eternity of nothing but water.
Church: They had blacks and whites attending the church. My church is almost all white. So, I like to see churches with diversity.
There was flowers and grass down there! I liked seeing green life unlike here in Wisconsin. We walked some around the garden district and drove around some areas. We looked at some houses that Brad Pitt is working on.
If this picture upload worked, this is a picture of one of the signs in front of the Brad Pitt homes. He had some finished and had others in different stages of construction. It sounds like he is actually involved in this work rather than just putting his name on it.
When I was at Camp Restore, I was shocked to see how many people have helped to rebuild in New Orleans. They had a map where they invited us to put a peg in the map for where we are from. Since some people in my team had came down every year for the past five years, we didn't need to add a peg for us.
On Monday morning, a large group of college students from Duke University arrived. They were taking a course on natural disasters and was spending their spring break at Camp Restore.
We were all thrilled to see all of the people together for one purpose to help others.
I saw newly rebuilt houses right next to crappy looking houses. Our team leader explained that when they searched the houses during the rescueing of people, they would mark the houses with an X.
My team worked around the church and a neighboring house. The homeowner was skilled in construction and helped some in the work. One group worked in a home where they were the first group of volunteers that he/she had. One lady told us that she had to split up her family when they all left New Orleans and this would be the first year of them being together in one place in five years! I had never thought about the fact that people were moved out with one way tickets. One of our home owners had no flood insurance and FEMA came out and elevated the house. But, they didn't do anything else. FEMA sounds like they are reviewing everyone's money request which is holding up the paying of construction companies and workers. Some people said that people weren't able to access their records to get an idea of the length of the hold up while the government was saying that they can. We saw schools that are still closed. The population in some areas is still a lot lower than before Katrina. This may be part of the issue with the schools. I found an article from a few years back about people who did day labor and didn't get paid for it. I saw people waiting around in the hopes of getting a day labor job. So I wonder if that still goes on.
The lady who told us about getting her family back together after five years also expressed concern about the levee in her back yard. She feels that it needs further repair work. She said that she could see that it was damaged by Katrina but the Army Corps of Engineers said that it was in acceptable shape. I didn't get to see it, though.
I also felt overwhelmed by all of the need. A community is a lot more than a collection of houses. Churches lost congregations. Many volunteer organizations lost their volunteer base. I can't imagine how much work is involved in rebuilding a community.

Websites that might be of interest to you.
I hope I got this right. I had some trouble figuring out my writing. I found it by googling Katrina Recovery.
They are fighting to get the government to improve the areas protections from hurricanes.
3. Camp Restore is RAI ministries but I don't remember the exact website. They allow non-Lutherans to come and hope if a group wants to come and help. Other denominations also have camps for people to stay at and volunteer with.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILDCARD1 3/13/2010 11:41PM

    Sounds like you had a good trip! Welcome back! I wish that I had the time to go down and help. It is taking a long time for the rebuilding process, but then there was a lot of destruction too.

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SUZ139 3/13/2010 8:00PM

    So cool....our son Justin a student at Penn State University (Behrend) and 49 other volunteers flew back from New Orleans last night (11 hrs due to strong storms) they stayed at "The Village" and worked for Habitat for humanity on their spring break. I think it is a wonderful program! KUDO to all you fine you people!

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SKIRNIR 3/13/2010 7:44PM

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Fear and God

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I started reading my Bible. I'm stuck in the old testament section on Moses re-telling the law to the Israelites. I started thinking about when the spies came back. Joshua reported that the land was good that they could take it with God's help. The others spies said that giants lived in the land and warned of the danger of trying to take the land. God was going to give them the land but they were afraid to attack. Fear has a way of holding us back from some of our greatest God given experiences. I am feeling less afraid of going to New Orleans after having a small cry (Crying relaxes me) and reading some of my Bible. I don't want to allow my fear of the unknown, change and people to keep me from having a wonderful experience.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VEGEFARMER 3/6/2010 11:30PM

    Just believe, that's all you need to do and all will be well. Hugs. emoticon emoticon

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New Orleans

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I will be leaving for New Orleans today. I am so excited and nervous about going. I am trying to figure out some bus snacks to take with me.
I keep forgetting to see what the weather is like in New Orleans. Maybe I will do that in a few minutes.
I checked the New Orleans weather and it sounds like it is a little warmer than it is here. So, I suspect that I will be fine with what I wear here for my jacket and stuff.
I'm almost done with my dishes and packing today. It is very sunny out today. I am nervous.
10:52 AM. I feel like hiding under my covers and not going. I hate being around lots of people especially if I don't know them or they feel like they might be middle class instead of kind of poor. I get intimidated by successful people. I feel like a loser when I see a person who looks successful sometimes. I know that I am not to compare myself to others because my biased thinking makes sure that I lose almost every time. How am I going to keep from comparing myself to the other people on the bus or at Camp Restore? I'm scared.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARKAR02 3/6/2010 7:27PM

    Unsuccessful???? Have you looked at your accomplishments thus far since you joined SP in January. You're losing weight. You're learning to make better choices. You're active on the SP sight. You're participating in SP challenges. You are working on a new healthy lifestyle. YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL. Every person defines success in different ways. Every person has many parts that make up their lives and few are "successful" by some people's standards in all parts all the time. Don't judge yourself by what someone else may think of as successful, but look at what you've accomplished and what you are actively working toward. HANG IN THERE!!!

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Bucket list

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Skirnir posted a bucket list which is a list of what you want to do before you die.
Missions trips
Counsel others/write encouraging Christian stuff
Make public speeches
Help people who struggle with mental health issues in some way
Grow as a Christian
Get married and have a kid
retire from work and spend time volunteering
meet new people and get to know them
Continue to get to know my friends better
Continue to learn new things throughout my life
Remain active as long as I can

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHITELILLY225 3/5/2010 6:47AM

    Hello Tray I am sorry about the block I am still pretty new at this I like what you have done with your sparks space come on over anytime and I will visit you more offten as well Thanks again. emoticon

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JULSMUM 2/28/2010 8:14PM

    Admirable....I like it, I like it!

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MOMSUE1 2/28/2010 8:01PM

    A very good bucket list!!!!

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New Spark Page look and other things

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I wanted to make my Spark Page more pleasant to look at and more encouraging for me and others.
Mission statement: I helped write one for my church. So, I ended up writing one for myself. The formula that we used was to answer three questions and put it into a sentence.
1. Who are you? I skipped this question on mine.
2. What are you trying to achieve?
3. How are you going to achieve that?
Goals are written in a very similar way except that you have short-term goals, medium length goals and long-term goals. They also need to be trackable and have a due date attached to it. I'd also recommend that some be easier goals while some are harder goals.
I actually managed to get 1,000 fitness minutes for February. I never thought I'd do that. I had trouble doing the 30 minutes that I had to do today to complete the 1,000 though. I only exercise on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I seem to have trouble doing exercise on a day right after an exercise day. I was stiff today when I tried to jog. It felt like my muscles were hurting just a tad when I was jogging around my apartment too. Does anyone else have that problem? I know that SparkPeople recommends that one take a day off in between exercise days but i see a lot of people who manage to exercise five days a week. How do you do that?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEB2007 2/28/2010 11:50AM

    You are doing GREAT. Doesn't it feel good when you accomplish a goal? Hope you continue to be the winner I know you are.

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SERENEMOM71 2/28/2010 11:13AM

  I walk every day and do some strength training a couple of days a week so I am not a good one to ask. I also swim (arthritis classes). Why don't you ask the Sparks FAQ? They may be able to help. Or the exercise pages. They have so much experience. I am so proud of you for really exercising hard!
Amy L

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