Everyone was on time, the plans were airtight, and the 20 hour bus ride turned out to be a breezy 15. Something is not right. I don’t trust it.
But everything was right, and everyone was happy. We watched movies (High Fidelity, Idiocracy, and When The Levees Broke) and talked through most of the ride from Chicago to the Crescent City. Arriving Sunday morning at 5am, we grabbed breakfast (IHOP) and then headed to Camp Hope, which would be our home for the next 6 days.
Camp Hope is based out of an middle school that was flooded in Hurricane Katrina. The classrooms now house bunk beds and there are shower trailers on the hopscotch squares. It’s being torn down in 60 days to build a new school for the community. Camp Hope is looking to move to a different location to continue serving St. Bernard Parish, but they’re not sure where.
Camp Hope is a unique place to say the least. You’re surrounded by people from all different walks of life (currently there are 160 Jewish students and a large Mizzou contingent) and those who’ve donated their lives to serving others. AmeriCorps staffs much of the camp, serving as the kitchen staff and working front desk. This year, we’re also working with them on our daily projects, helping with clean-up and environmental projects.
A lot of ReachOuters are dead tired. Sleeping on the bus was near impossible and those that did manage to catch a few z’s are paying for it now (I looked like a human pretzel, my crick has a crick I’m so sore). Sunday has been pretty chill. We had a brief tour of the facilities by Bruce, the manager of Camp Hope, and had a “getting to know you” and planning session with our posses.
Tonight we’re going to the Los Islenos Festival for some craw fish and music. Tomorrow I’m going with AmeriCorps to help with various local projects. More on that tomorrow.