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    Email to Parents from Day #3 of The NOLA Tree's Spring Program

    Hey All...


    We talk a lot about initiative down here, and it's amazing to see how our volunteers are already rising to the occasion.  The Americorps volunteers needed help with the dishes at Camp Hope, and Max, Alejandro, Alvaro and Sofia stayed an extra hour to lend a hand.  Several others cleaned out our vans.  And still another volunteered to clean our tables after each meal.  It's pretty cool to see (though we can't guarantee the behavior will be replicated at home).


    It was also pretty cool to see everyone up at 5:45 in the morning and at breakfast and ready to go by 6:30.
    We had our first day orientation and then headed to our job site.  It's great because this week we'll all be working on the same projects.  Today, we were at St. Margaret's, a nursing home in the Lower Ninth that was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.  Four years later, it still needs to be gutted and cleaned out.  That's what we did.  We got incredibly dirty, but boy was it fun!  We loaded up nearly two full dumpsters of rubble.  We used sledgehammers and shovels and crowbars to knock down walls and rip up floors.  It was a full day of work.


    But before we headed back to Camp Hope, we decided to make two stops.  First, we checked out the Green Project, a fascinating local exchange, where New Orleans residents can purchase items for their homes that simply cannot be found in Home Depot or Lowe's.  Then it was off to school at Blair Grocery on Alabo Street.  Our friend, Brennan, told us all about the school, the farm and all the animals (goats, chickens, dogs).
    Now we're back at Camp Hope.  For dinner, it was rice and beans.  It's a New Orleans tradition to eat this dish on Mondays.


    Tonight's debrief looks like it's going to be as intensive and thought-provoking as last night as we discuss faith and pride.
    By the way, we heard it was rainy in the northeast today.  Sunny skies and seventy two degrees here!


    Peace, Phil and Ana


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