If someone would have told me ten years ago that I would have spent 10 weeks out of the last 8 years in New Orleans, I would have responded "why on earth would I do that?"
Our first trip to New Orleans was leading a team from our church 6 months after Hurricane Katrina to assist in cleanup. The bug bit us and we've been going back ever since. It's been fun seeing the city evolve from where there was martial law and we stayed in tents in a FEMA camp run with generators
to now, coming over the I-10 bridge at night and seeing the lights of the city laid out before us.
On our first trip, we were partnered with Pastor Teresa Reiger and her ministry, His Hands 2 Go and we have been working with PT and her team ever since.
Most of our time has been spent rehabbing houses damaged during Katrina.
But this last trip in January of this year, we worked solely on Pastor's church. The church was badly in need of updates and repairs. The main repair being during Hurricane Isaac, a microburst separated the front wall from the church.
Our trips aren't all work though. There is always room for entertainment and
of course, no trip to The Big Easy is complete with out some good southern BBQ!
I would've never guessed that New Orleans, where I had never been before 2006, would feel so much like home to me. I love the vast array of different cultures, the neighborhood joints and styles and for someone who loves different types of architecture, this is heaven.
Let alone the natural beauty of the city and the surrounding area.
If you've never been to New Orleans, I'd highly recommend it but if you go immerse yourself in the culture and in the neighborhoods.
Find a local coffee shop, a neighborhood restaurant, a local BBQ joint, walk St Charles Avenue, go to Audubon or City Park to name a few of the must-do's.
The French Quarter and Bourbon Street
don't have anything on the rest of the city and all it has to offer.