We feasted upon turkey, ham, cheese, and hummus sandwiches for lunch. This prepared us for our five and a half hour tour of the city. Our tour guide was New Orleans resident, Sakura Kone'. He runs the Off the Beaten Path tours which take participants into different neighborhoods that most tourists never see. We saw Tremé, Central City, Mid-City, and the Lower Ninth Ward. We heard about and witnessed the systematic oppression of people of color in New Orleans. After nearly nine years, many parts of the city are still in need of help. Kone' showed us what he called, "the good, the bad, and the ugly."
After a spaghetti dinner, our group reflected on the experience. The juxtaposition of newly built or renovated homes and homes that are unlivable shocked everyone. We were inspired by the many institutions that Kone' introduced us to. We were able to meet with Ward "Mack" McLendon who runs the Lower Ninth Ward Village. This is a community center serving the needs of the people in the area. He spoke to us about what led him to return to New Orleans after Katrina. The tour got us all excited about beginning service in the morning!
This a mural on the Lower Ninth Ward Village headquarters. It was painted by United Saints Volunteers.
Greeting from New Orleans,
Mia and Chelsea :)