Team Member: Megan
My name is Megan Allermann and I am a Junior studying Human Service Leadership. My favorite part of the trip is getting to know my fellow Titans and do service work that will change the world one step at a time. The amount of work we are doing here is helping so many people and giving them hope. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned and bring it back to Oshkosh!
Team Member: Ashley
Hello my name is Ashley! My major is elementary education. I’m a junior here at UW Oshkosh. My favorite part of the trip was being able to talk to locals as we were helping. Hearing their stories about survival and hope was inspiring.
Today was our last full day in NOLA. we had a free day from volunteering and went on our bayou tour and to the zoo. During our tour we counted 35 gators around the boat. We even got to hold a little baby gator which was most of ours favorite part of the tour.
Afterwards we went to lunch and then to the Audubon Zoo. We broke off into groups to explore the ginormous property. Our group member Jess has always had jumping into a fountain on her bucket list, and today she was able to fulfill that dream!! She was overly excited as seen in the last photo. We all got to see monkeys, snakes and MORE GATORS!!!! It was a full eventful day!
We head back to (snowy) Wisconsin tomorrow. We are all so homered to be able to tell about all of the work we have done this week. Thank you to friends and family that have supported us throughout the whole process.
Team Member: Erica
Hi my name is Erica, a sophomore here at Oshkosh where I am a Kinesiology major and a Psychology minor. I am also on the Cross Country and Track & Field teams here at school. So far, my favorite part of the trip was the time we spent working at the Jefferson Parish animal shelter; especially playing with the puppies.
Team Members: Brooke and Samantha
Our names are Brooke and Samantha. We are both juniors who have been roommates for the past few years. Brooke is a nursing major and I (Samantha) is an accounting and finance major. We have absolutely been enjoying our time in New Orleans. Our favorite part of this trip so far was clearing trees and brush at the Audobon Nature Center on Monday.
A Very Hectic Day
Today , well today was interesting. Some of us were on our way to Catahoula Bay to plant trees in a marshy area. The drive was and hour and a half and about an hour in it started to downpour. We stopped at a gas station to fill up and decided to wait out the storm. After another hour and a half of thunder and lightening we decided to call it and head back to common ground. We were extremely disappointed that we were not able to get to go into the swamp but obviously we did not want to risk our safety, especially since our boat was made of metal. The ones that stayed behind helped out around common ground. They also went to a mans house to help plant trees, which was tiring especially in the rain.
Tomorrow we have a free day and we are going on our bayou tour and get to go to the zoo!!!!
Much like yesterday we went around the ninth ward and beautified the area. We split off into two groups; one group went and planted trees in the nieghbors yards. Four of us got to talk to one lady and her friend not so much about how their experience with the hurricane but they were very intrigued with the idea that we had snow currently in Wisconsin. The other group went around to some of the empty lots and cut grass, cleared long grasses etc.
Today we also got to go to the Jefferson Parrish Animal Shelter and see a bunch of animals. We all got to hold puppies and walk some of the dogs. The shelter is unique in the fact that if you want to adopt one the cost is only $67 to adopt any of the animals. That $67 covers nudering and the first round of vaccinations. We did not want to put those puppies down! The rest of the time we went and helped clean cages and walked some of the dogs.
Tonight was the one night where we knew a few months in advance that the New Orleans Pelicans were going to have a home game. We split up and seven of us went to the game while the other three went out to the garden district to get ice cream!
Today we were working in our own backyard. The Lower 9th ward (where we are staying) was hit the hardest when the levees broke losing a lot of the houses and most of the wildlife. We drove down everyblock and asked people if they wanted us to plant a tree in their yard. They were all so thrilled that we were out there planting trees in their neighborhood. We did not think it was such a big deal until we started to REALLY look around the nighborhood.Its eerie when you look at blank lots with just a slab of concrete on it knowing that someones house once sat there. People had lost everything they owned and some had even lost their lives right wherre their houses stood.
The nighborhood; 10 years later is slowly starting to get back on their feet. The first convienience store has opened up since Katrina hit. People in this area had to drive for miles to the closest grocery store in order to get anything they needed. Now they can pick up simple things right around the corner from their house. It isnt much yet, they werent even able to break a twenty when we went into buy some ice cream.
Along with the houses, schools were also greatly damaged in the storm. They are currently re building a charter high school in the nighborhood. The school system was never great and was letting down the people of New Orleans since the 50s. They found this as a new beginning to re construct the school system, majorly installing the charter school system.
Tomorrow we do more planting trees around the neighborhood and volunteer at an animal shelter!
Team Member: Jessica Singer
My name is Jessica Singer, and I am a sophomore nursing major at UWO. I absolutely love volunteering, helping people, and making a difference within my campus and community. I am so excited and fortunate to have the opportunity to attend this trip, to be able to travel, while impacting a community that is really in need of the help. Yesterday was definately my favorite day. Volunteering, going on a Hurricane Katrina Tour, and listening to the story of a survivor of Katrina, I felt like I was really able to experience the tragedy, and make a difference in the lives of those who still live here. I was also excited about experiencing the culture, and learning about the different lifestyle in the south. Going to Congo Square, and the parade over the weekend, definately fulfilled this. It is crazy that we have four days left. I am most excited about seeing the impact we can make volunteering in the ninth ward. There is no way to describe how much help is still needed, even after ten years. With this all said, my experience in NOLA so far is indescribable. Volunteering, experiencing culture, and making new friends, I am having the time of my life.
First Day of Volunteering
Today we helped clear chinese tallow trees from the Audubon Nature area. We helped clear about half and acre of trees and they went in later to plant non invasive trees. Afterwards we went on our Hurricane Katrina tour. The three hour tour took us by the levees that broke, resulting in the destruction of New Orleans. Tomorrow we volunteer in the 9th ward and hopefuklly get to know our neighbors a little more!!