Add to this page. Add your name as a Heading 3 and use an underline to create the section, then type your reflection on last year's trip.

Donna Laich - Chaperone

You are right Rob, I cannot imagine walking away from my home today and never returning. I can't imagine loosing everything that I value, especially photos and family memorabilia that can never be replaced. I was in awe of the Wallingford students who travelled with us last year in the Hope of being a part of something larger than themselves. I was inspired by them.
My favorite memory is of the night that LHHS arrived at Camp HOPE. Due to their flight cancellation, they did not arrive until the Sheehan group had already been at camp HOPE for a day and a half. They were exhausted and disappointed. We were already settled into our camp routine, bunks were claimed, belongings were organized, bathrooms scoped out. The night of their arrival we were safely tucked into our bunks. We were told to expect LHHS to arrive sometime after midnight.
Could you, in the dark, find a bunk quietly?
We were also told that they would need lights and help finding bunks, bathrooms, and organizaing their space. Many volunteered to help them when they arrived. I was not expecting a good nights sleep that night.

As it turned out, sometime in the middle of the night, about 15 LHHS girls and female chaperones, floated into our already crowded room sometime after midnight. They were like angels and yes, they literally floated in, or so it seemed. In the pitch dark, with nothing but a small flashlight, they found a bunk, made it up, and silently crawled in. There was not a word, nor was there a light! Our sleep was miraculously, undisturbed.

Rob Kovi- Chaperone

Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned from having traveled to St. Bernard Parish on the April '07 trip is how dependent people are on one another. We tend to go about the business of our daily lives without considering the impact we have on others and the impact the many people around us have on us. I realized what community is, how we must help one another.
We have successful lives in our community because of everyone around us. Think of why we live where we do. We have homes for our families, jobs to support ourselves, and resources to provide for us. All of these are dependent on the community.
When Katrina and Rita devastated the area, people evacuated and it has taken a long time for things to recover. It's been over two years and things are still not back to the way they were before the storm. Some people have yet to return. Imagine walking away from your home today and never returning. Why does it take so long to recover?
After the storm people couldn't simply go back home. The resources necessary for successful lives were unavailable. There was no power or sewage systems. Stores and businesses were closed.
Lois shares her address with students
Where would a person returning to his home get groceries to feed himself and his family if there were no stores open. The simple answer is to get the businesses open, but then one might ask, "How can the store open if there are not enough people in the area to sustain it? Who will work in the store? Where would a person get the money to buy groceries if the business where he earned his money is closed? How can a person get to the store if he has no money to buy gas for his car or their are no gas stations available" There is a delicate balance in any community. Businesses exist because there are people to support them and work for them, and people cannot not live in a community without businesses.
We can find a lesson for our lives in people like Lois who lived in a trailer with eight family members, had little money, but took the time to cook and bring food for eighty people as we worked on a house in her neighborhood. "You're a blessing!," she kept repeating.

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