Monday, March 9, 2009

Day #7 and departure: the last days in retrospect

Friday was our last full day in New Orleans. The team had such a great experience with Habitat for Humanity that we decided to go back to the site Friday morning and surprise the other volunteers with beignets from Cafe DuMonde. It was also one last chance to say good-bye to those we didn't get to say farewell to.

I remain amazed as to how much we got done in 3 days. The entire first floor of a house was framed out and "hurricane proofed." The students really inspired me on this build. Their bodies are their instruments and tools for their craft and they just went out there and were determined to do as much as they could to get these homes built. They demonstrated the same focus and drive on the work site and they do in the practice room, in the studio or on the stage. Who says art has no place on a construction site?

After leaving the Habitat site, the team headed to the YMCA. One of my two favorite moments was seeing the team perform a song written by one of the kids from the afterschool program. Watching them perform with this child was simply great.

The next performance was at the First St. United Methodist Church where the group performed outdoors on a concrete patio for church members, the volunteers of United Saints First St. and anyone who felt like stopping on the street to watch. The kids from congregation also performed with the team.

The last performance was out in Violet, LA at Camp Hope, the housing site for Habitat for Humanity volunteers. The site supervisor was so happy that the team would travel 35 minutes to perform for them.

This was the team's final perfomance of "Imagine" by John Lennon. What a week it was. As I type this, my right hand and shoulder are still sore from hammering nails but I feel rejuvenated. Once again, I saw the possibilities of change and improvement and witnessed the healing spirit of art and how art can speak out and ignite a spark within an individual.

x/o, Sabrina

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