Hey y’all, I want to fill you in a little bit on what I’ve been doing since I got to New Orleans! (bear with me, I’ve never done this blog thing before!!)

For those of you who don’t know, I am here in the Crescent City for the next eleven months with the NOLA Service Corps as a crew chief in the rebuild program.  What that means in a broader sense is that I am living in an intentional community of 6 other young people who are here working with various programs throughout the city as part of the NOLA Service Corps.  As part of the program, we have assigned reading to do and meet with two program leaders twice a week to discuss the readings and to do spiritual formation.  Additionally, we are each assigned a mentor that we meet with every two or three weeks as well as a spiritual director that we meet with once a month.

If you think that’s a lot to keep track of, think how we feel!! I have been here for a little over two weeks and I already feel like I’ve been here for ages!!  The first week and a half we had a jam-packed orientation consisting of tours of the neighborhoods, history lessons on the diocese and the city, a climb up into the bell tower at the Christ Church Cathedral, planning and hosting a banquet on one-day’s notice, and a plethora of other awesome and educational activities.  We also attended two conferences on the weekend of Katrina’s five-year anniversary.  One was an independent TED conference called TEX x NOLA and the second was called Rising Tide V.

Since I got here, we have also started working at our site placements!! My experience in rebuild has been very bittersweet.  I have always loved coming down here for spring break in the past, but I am super nervous about being a group leader and leading a group of volunteers in the rebuild process.  So far the two other new crew chiefs and myself have been working with 3 experienced crew chiefs to learn how to perform our given tasks and to answer volunteer questions and concerns.  I hope I will be able to have a positive impact on my volunteers once the safety blanket of our teachers is removed!!

As far as fun things we’ve done, I’ve been the the Quarter twice, tailgated a Saints game, attended a block party in the Lower Ninth, participated in a second line for Rebirth Brass Band, seen Faith Hill live and for free, watched a Saints game from inside the Super Dome, and gone to a Zephyr’s game.  And don’t forget my wonderful birthday with my dad and all of the gifts and love and best wishes from all of you who mean the world to me!

I hope that’s good for my first official blog post as Miss New Orleans.  For those of you unfamiliar with New Orleans music, or the great Satchmo, this comes from what has quickly become my favorite Crescent City inspired song, and I will leave you with a few lines.

“Do you know what it means to Miss New Orleans, and that’s where I left my heart, and there’s something more, I miss the one I car for, more than I miss New Orleans”