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Mardi Gras

yep it's that time again.


This past weekend was the beginning of parade season. There was the Krewe du Vieux parade in the Quarter and the CTC Steppers Second Line Parade from the Lower 9th to Gentilly. Both of them were a complete blast! One of my friends has a balcony apartment on Frenchmen St, right on the parade route. I got a couple beads and some light things thrown at me, once when I wasn't even looking! I can absolutely see why people make a big deal out of Mardi Gras parades, even though both of these were less touristy than the big day events.
Anyway, back to the real reason I'm in New Orleans...Work is going really well. The sad news is that my boss is leaving Project Homecoming, though fortunately he's staying in New Orleans. So it'll be weird to adjust to a different boss. They are just going to consolidate, so there used to be three "teams," Noelle and Vann's teams, and then Mark's with Andy, Robinson, and I. Noelle and Vann are great, but they have completely different leadership styles than Mark has. And we'll be adjusting to the change right after Mardi Gras, and during the start of Spring Break time. But Mark got a job that will make him happier, and cause him less stress, so I am happy for him, of course.
The house that I am working on now is in the Upper 9th Ward. I finished the Jefferson Pres house right before Christmas. So now it's house #3! And we are getting close to completion on this one too! It's gotten to all little things and a few obnoxious things we've been putting off. This week we're building a deck and stairs from the side door, tiling the remaining floors in need of tile, installing doors, and who knows what else!? I want to get this house done as soon as possible, but I'm sure it'll take a lot longer than I'd like because of matters that I can't control (waiting for materials and money). But we'll see.
I have met some really great volunteers since I've been down here. This year alone I had college students from TCNJ, a group from MD/DE area, some great folks from Spokane, WA, and now some skilled people from Northeastern Ohio. It's really great when we all can learn from each other, I am absolutely learning something new every day. And I'm working on asserting myself more. Surprisingly (sarcasm), most people who see a 23 year old girl telling them what to do on a construction site don't always listen to what I say, they just do it how they want. And in the past I would meekly say things about how I wanted things done, and then step back and let them do it how they wanted. But not anymore. Though I mostly say things like, "well that's how Mark wants it." It still ends up with me winning and my volunteers doing what they're told. But I'm glad for this experience, because it will absolutely come in handy one day when I need to stand up for myself and what I believe in (even if it's just something small). This job challenges me every day, mind, body, and spirit. and I love it.
I just finished reading "The Geography of Bliss" by Eric Weiner. You should look into it, it's fantastic. And just drove the point home that yes, I am happy in New Orleans, New Orleans makes me happy. Every day I stop for a second and relish in the fact that I'm here. I love being here, I wish New Orleans was closer to my family and friends.
That's all I can say for now, I'll try to write more soon about the next parades.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Posted by mernst 16:51 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer

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