Self-righteousness prevails again. Itâs not about what I can do for my community, but what can I get my community do for me, and how much can I get them to do before I have squeezed the last bits out. Even some of the people who say they are here to help have been blinded by the glamorous of living in the traumatized city of N.O. How have we become inconsiderate of each other? I am not here because it gives me an edge, because I am a scenester. “Look at me, devastated New Orleans is so trendy”. I’m here because it helps people. Because I have something to learn. Because I was called.
Mamma* whispered in my ear. “I want the Anna that came here, don’t let anyone change that.” I’m here because my body is what I have to give. Because someone needs to ACTUALLY hear what they have to say and just listen. It could all be so easy if we as a country followed this advice.
My distress is a weight on my shoulders. I cannot let it burden me down. Each day is a new day here – and I wait for it in all its imperfection and uncertainty. Stand tall for those who are struggling to their feet.
I thought I would be leaving at the end of this month. I thought three months would be enough. Now Iâm not so sure. I’m tempted to stay for the end of April – a friend who joined me here before is planning on coming back. I want to stay and support him the way he supports me, without even knowing it. I want to give back the way we all should- out of compassion for our fellow man, not for making it out ahead of the rest of the pack.
We have been closed for the past week- the supplies we are known for are lacking and it seems that there will be none for a while longer. This includes regular groceries. We are trying to be creative with the canned veggies that we have, but honestly… there is only so much you can do.
We have been working on setting up the houses so that more people can come back and have a place to stay to get back on their feet. So far one house is complete – nothing fancy. We still have no drywall – our walls are covered with sheets and picture frames. I have started tomato and cayenne pepper plants in the back yard, spread wood chips in the park (the city has done trimming from the trees and we were given the results) and continue to paint whatever can be painted.
RESCUE our people
RETURN them to their homes and
RESTORE our communities.
much love- annab.
*“Mamma D”, the matriarch/organizer of the informal group with which Anna works.