The Levees

The Levees
Today, Day 3 here in NOLA, we went back to the KIPP school we worked at yesterday and continued various projects that we had going from the previous day. After a hard days work and some delicious cake (shoutout to Mr. and Mrs. Lazaro, thank you for the AMAZING food!), our drivers took us on a mini tour and headed towards the river and lower 9th ward. We first stopped at the only 1 out of the 3 levees that did not break. It was truly a beautiful sight, especially of the city. After taking a few pictures we headed to one of the levees that did break. There was a house that stood, slightly in ruins, in one of the neighborhoods close to the river. The story of the house held that 16 people were working inside of it when the levee did break. There is a large hole at the top of the house, where people took a hammer to the roof to escape the rushing water. Unfortunately, only 2 people made it out alive. When this part of the house’s story was revealed, it really hit me hard. As I looked at the house and imagined the struggle of the people, I found myself wanting to help more than ever to better the lives of those who did survive. What also really inspired me was, as we were driving our guide pointed out various homes on a block. These homes were built by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, through their program “Make It Right”. I really liked how they went out and built homes, proactively DOING things to help relieve the stress from the disaster immediately. They took action instead of just donating money, because although the money would be entirely beneficial, taking immediate action shows more passion and I believe also helps inspire others to take more action. I do not think I will ever be able to wrap my head around the intensity of this disaster, the thousands of people it impacted, or how years have passed and those of New Orleans are still suffering. I am truly appreciative of this trip, and the Ryan Nece Foundation for allowing me to share this amazing experience with them, and I will take this experience with me, and maybe a couple beignets too.”

- Malyna Reed