Today, our final full day in New Orleans, was our Habitat build day. Spread out between four houses and the local Habitat ReStore, our group of 56 painted, organized tile, installed siding, picked up donated cupboards, sanded porches and cleaned up sites. It was a big day but we came away with new skills and an intense appreciation for what Habitat does for a community.
It was also an opportunity to work hard, and work as a team on challenges that many of us have not had to do a whole lot of in our lives. Our students are to be commended for their amazing work ethic and positive attitude through the day. Although the weather was HOT, our spirits didn't falter, and we all accomplished our goal targets for the day.
Next up was dinner at the Hillbilly Bar-b-que where we sat at the longest table we had ever seen! The food was beyond delicious - pulled pork, beef brisket, ribs and chicken were among the choices with sides like beans, mac and cheese and potato salad to compliment the meat. Topped off with a brownie and ice cream, we left with very full stomachs after a hard day's work.
Our last stop on our New Orleans adventure was a haunted swamp tour in the Manchac Swamp. According to our captain this is the creepiest swamp of all with a rich history involving hurricanes, murder, ghosts and a hanging tree. Alive with vegetation, frogs, birds, racoons and, of course, alligators our tour took us past sites where people lived and died - or did they? At the end of the tour our captain surprised us with a young female alligator to hold and gently pass around.
We can't believe the time has passed so quickly but tomorrow we're up early to start the journey home to see ya mom'n'em. Yes, we've picked up a bit of New Orleans slang but we can't wait to tell you our stories. We've shared so many new experiences and had opportunities that will stay with us forever. Thank you, N'awlins!