Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Volunteers continue arriving by the busload

Volunteers keep coming to New Orleans to help. And God knows, we still need it. Many blocks in the Ninth Ward seem untouched since Hurricane Katrina. Common Ground Relief claims to have worked with 35,000 volunteers since Hurricane Katrina, gutting and rebuilding homes, creating urban gardens, starting a legal clinic and a women's shelter. Now they've got a tree farm to replant the bayou. But the neighborhood is still pretty desolate.

Volunteers come in all shapes, sizes, ages and races. This group, however, surprised me. I saw them from a distance, arriving in a Ken Kesey-style school bus. The message, "NY 2 NO," was painted on both sides, so the group's origin was clear.

One of the National Wildlife staff members was probably giving them an explanation about how the levees broke, detailing the inadequacies of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Consider that most of these kids were in junior high or elementary school when Katrina knocked New Orleans off her feet. That was a long time ago yet, for some neighborhoods, not much has changed.

I believe Global Warming is a concern for those who may still be around when the waters seriously start to rise. The glaciers are melting at a rate that is even faster than scientists predicted. Manhattan may even find itself submerged.

Perhaps stories of Hurricane Katrina became more relevant to those who experienced Hurricane Sandy firsthand last year.

I might have interviewed them so they could see themselves online, but young people have every kind of mobile device to chronicle their own adventures.

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