Welcome to New Orleans

We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction. Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed. — Lamentations 3:47-48

Our first week in New Orleans was spent getting used to the city and learning about what is possibly the most important part of the city’s history: Hurricane Katrina. Part of our orientation was watching a 4 part documentary by Spike Lee called When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. It’s long but I learned so much and I highly recommend that everyone watch it. Below is a 15 minute clip about how the levees failed and some of the people who were trapped in their homes (*please watch it*). There is some profane language in the clip, for understandable reasons. The video includes a picture of the Circle Food Store, and a couple of days after watching the documentary, my housemates and I drove past the store. It was so strange to see that store, or see spray painted walls on houses that were searched for dead bodies. Watching a documentary or hearing about the hurricane on the news does not necessarily make the events feel real, but seeing the real-life remnants of Katrina is very different and hard to describe in words. We also visited a museum in the French Quarter about Katrina, and we visited one of the levees that broke. It was about a 5 minute drive from our house. It’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans but it will always be a huge part of the culture here.

A house next to the levee we visited. The hole in the roof is where someone used an ax to escape from the attic.

A house next to the levee we visited. The hole in the roof is where someone used an ax to escape from the attic.

On the happier side of our orientation week, we went on a walking tour of the French Quarter, and went on a scavenger hunt around the city to get to know our way around and learn more about things to do around New Orleans. Below are  a few pictures of our adventures.

I wore my rain jacket and rain boots my first week here. I did not really enjoy the rain. Also pictured: my housemate Jean

I wore my rain jacket and rain boots my first week here. I did not really enjoy the rain. Also pictured: my housemate Jean

Beignets from Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter

Beignets from Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter

Mardi Gras beads on someone's gate. Also pictured: my housemate Haley

Mardi Gras beads on someone’s gate. Also pictured: my housemate Haley

Mardi Gras masks. Also pictured: my housemates Mindy and Haley

Mardi Gras masks. Also pictured: my housemates Mindy and Haley

St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter

St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter

My roommate Jocelyn and me enjoying a snowball

My roommate Jocelyn and me enjoying a snowball

Our whole group on our walking tour! From left to right: Jocelyn, Sydney, Jean, me, Mindy, Haley, Vincent, Brad, and our site coordinator Layne

Our whole group on our walking tour! From left to right: Jocelyn, Sydney, Jean, me, Mindy, Haley, Vincent, Brad, and our site coordinator Layne

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6 thoughts on “Welcome to New Orleans

  1. Tracy Wehby says:

    Thanks for an update! Your roommates look like fun! Sounds like New Orleans is an interesting place to spend a year. Hope you have a great time.

    Like

  2. Kathryn Marquardt says:

    Yay Courtney!!! I’m so glad to hear about your adventures in NOLA! I’ve been praying for you and your team, for strength and energy as you adjust to a new culture! Miss you lots ❤

    Like

  3. Mom says:

    Wow, that video is heartbreaking and scary. Thanks for posting pictures. So happy we got to talk to you this weekend. Love and miss you bunches.

    Like

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