One of the best parts about going on the road is having your eyes opened up to the realities that exist beyond your own little corner of the world. So when it came to New Orleans, it was one thing for me to hear secondhand reports about the state of affairs in the city from the comforts of my home. But to walk through the rubble that remains, to talk to those who are trying to piece their community back together, was another thing altogether. This is why we travel.
I’ve never felt like such a foreigner in my own country. Everywhere else I’ve been, from the biggest ghettos to the most upscale neighborhoods I’ve happened to wander into, there’s never been a time when I felt like I couldn’t connect with the locals on some basic level. But here in the Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish, I felt like there was no way I could ever come close to understanding what it’s like to live through that kind of devastation, the political corruption, and the urban decay. How can we allow this to continue, in one of the greatest cities in our country?
All I could do was listen, support their efforts, and then show the world some of their New Orleans.