Our 8th grade is on their February trip this week. Below is a letter to our parents from Tricia Fisher, our Venture Out Director and Wes Vogel, our Social Studies teacher, from New Orleans, where six of our 8th grade boys are helping to clean up neighborhoods still devastated from Katrina.
We haven't had any down time or internet access until this evening. We have had such a whirlwind time from the moment we arrived. Our first night at the Embassy Suites was great- The hotel could not have been nicer- good staff, nice rooms. They loved our well-mannered children. We ate at a little Italian restaurant where we had alligator sausage. We walked the French Quarter yesterday, visited the Aquarium (I-MAX had a Hurricane movie) and the Katrina exhibit in the Cabildo. It was a very good way to help the students understand the impact of Katrina and the way of life down here. We ate shrimp po-boys at Johnny's which were fantastic!
The church house where we are staying is perfect for our group. There is a pool table, basketball goal, space for everyone to chill, and an old nintendo- no TV and they have been fine. We had quite a first day with our service group. I think it was an eye opener for all of us and a reminder how blessed we are. The pastor of the Center gave a special welcome with two stories that set the tone for our trip. God calls us to step out and not step into ourselves and help others- Your children were just special souls today- they worked so hard and in very dirty circumstances. You would not believe how bad this garage was that we pulled out- water was still in it along with a thousand tools, dental stuff, a rusty car and who knows what else. The gentleman was a dental technician who had a stroke- he was there today as well- We also went to another house and cut down (attacked) banana trees. Just perfect for the boys: hacking down branches, chopping logs, really loving that part of the day.
We feasted tonight on andouille po-boys, boiled shrimp, salad and laughs. We cooked for ourselves- better and cheaper than most restaurants. We had lots of sous chefs helping us. There have been no picky eaters on this trip.
Tomorrow we will take down a fence and beyond that I'm not sure what the next job will be. We will definitely wear sunscreen tomorrow. You should see Wes- he looks like a crawfish!
Wes and I are really enjoying the boys- lots of jokes and humor- Nothing like traveling with my daughters!! Please know that you should be proud of the way in which your sons are working and interacting with others.
Hope you enjoy these pictures. I'll send more when we can.
Tricia and Wes