Sunday, April 22, 2007

Life in Buras, LA -- Day 5 (Farewell)

Friday was our last day volunteering in Buras with Emergency Communities, and the quiet final farewell was made with mixed emotions. I was definitely satisfied that we'd done all we could to help for the 5 days we were in Buras, but it passed by so fast that I couldn't help but feel it still wasn't enough. I was happy to go home to the simple comforts of a bed and flush toilet, but sad that I was leaving behind a community still in great need.

We met some wonderful folks during our stay, and I hope that we can stay in touch with them and the community so that we can keep tabs on the recovery and support it in some way going forward. I don't think it will be the last time I see Buras, and I'll carry the hope that I'll be pleasantly surprised the next time I do.

Here's a short recap of our final day there:

After helping to unload the weekly shipment of supplies, we gave a hand with the serving of breakfast and post-meal cleanup. My friends Hari and Neal pose from the serving line below. Hari drove down with Terry and I after hearing about the trip at the Red Line in Rogers Park a few weeks ago (I'd say that it was a chance encounter, but Terry says there are no coincidences). We met Neal at EC, and worked long and hard with him in the kitchen discovering along the way a kindred spirit.

Terry and I then headed down to the bottom of the peninsula to see the Venice Marina. The following pictures are all from that little excursion. Venice lies about 15 miles south of Buras and is the point furthest south in Louisiana (as the sign indicates), where the Mississippi meets the Gulf. It's been rebuilt and is proudly proclaimed as the "fishing capitol of the world". There's one reminder of the storm, an SUV floating in the water, but otherwise it's a beautiful little spot of Nature at the bottom of the country and shows the promise of the area's recovery.

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