So yeah. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m sorry it has been forever, but not having access to my laptop / the internet over spring break was pretty hard for me too *cough* CS major *cough*. Still. It means I can tell you all about the wonderfulness that was my spring break in NEW ORLEANS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which was awesome. XDXDXD I’m going to split up my New Orleans stories over several posts, simply because there are too many of them. I may start a separate New Orleans section in our random part of the website… :)
Honestly, though, I really loved being in New Orleans. I saw a lot of things that I wish I hadn’t, simply because I wish things were different there, but at the same time, the city has a lot of hope. I found that to be really beautiful, and that thought really kept me going throughout the week as we kept seeing more and more destruction and loss. Even 6 years after the storm, you will see a house that has been been restored next to a house that is still boarded up and graffitied. That juxtaposition is really strange to see, and yet that is the situation in just about every neighborhood we passed through in New Orleans. It’s actually kind of frightening, as parts of the city seem like ghost towns. There are whole blocks that don’t have people living in them. The city at times is simply lost and deserted.
During the week, my group of 42 split up into smaller groups to go to different organizations and volunteer. I, of course, signed up for all of the manual labor groups because I love working outside or on more intensive projects, so the first day I went to an after-school type center named APEX to clean crown molding. The house it was at was phenomenal. The two founders of the group, a husband and wife team, started APEX a couple of years ago by literally giving up their home to give kids of all ages a place to come after school (if they even attend school) and receive tutoring if they need it or simply just hang out with friends. Really, APEX serves as a safe place for them to be off the streets and away from their oftentimes terrible home situations, and in a city where it is definitely not safe to be by yourself outside in the day or the night, I was so glad that I was able to contribute a little to this wonderful organization. Perhaps the most uplifting story I heard during my entire time in New Orleans was hearing from the husband at APEX that a group of about 40 high school students from APEX are starting a church there for their neighborhood- they’re opening on Easter Sunday, and the crown molding I was cleaning will go up in the new room being renovated for where they will hold services. I absolutely love that, and those 40 students are in my prayers. I wish there was something more I could do to encourage or help them. It’s just a wonderful story.
As it is 11:49pm, and this must be posted before midnight for my deadline, I will leave you with Vandy’s most popular and most awesome a cappella group (besides Victory, of course XD ) whom I actually auditioned for this semester and saw compete tonight at the ICCA South semifinal competition… which they won 3rd place in the world for a cappella groups last year. Unfortunately, they didn’t win any place tonight (biased judging- this is not a biased opinion; this is truthful, just saying), but they’re still wonderful to hear and see perform. This is their set that won them the ICCA Wild Card competition and allowed them to compete in the finals… enjoy the Vanderbilt Melodores! =)