Notes from New Orleans

As promised, we’ll be providing updates throughout the week from Timberland’s own Brianne Wood as she builds relationships and revitalizes communities as part of In Good Company.  Here are Brianne’s initial thoughts on the experience:

Saturday, November 1

I sit in the airport with many thoughts and “what-ifs” of the week to come:
I wonder if my work will be beneficial to the communities I will be serving. 

I wonder how I will adjust to 24/7 of working, eating, sleeping, cooking, cleaning, and serving with 26 complete strangers.

I wonder if I will feel emerged and embraced in a community that has struggled with many heartaches.  Heartaches and challenges of which I have been sheltered from.

I wonder if I am the right candidate for this opportunity, or if others will find the experience life-altering and for me it will be only sub-par.

I wonder if I will be able find words appropriate to answer the haunting question of, “that’s nice … but so what?”

I wonder if the others will accept me, both personally and professionally.

Things I know:

I know in a short time, I will be in flight and there is no turning back.

I know that fearing the unknown, yet confronting it, will make me stronger, wiser and more confident. 

I guess that’s all I can go on for now.  The remaining answers will come with time.

With that, it’s time to board my flight.  Stay tuned for more.

 * * *

Monday, November 3

Yesterday I took part in touring the 9th Ward.

I have to say I was most intrigued and yet concerned about going to the 9th Ward.  You hear many stories and see photos of the devastation that occurred.  I just didn’t really know what to expect three years later.

What sticks most in my mind is seeing row after row of vacant spaces with nothing remaining but staircases leading to nowhere.  Stairs that once led to families, homes and memories.

The few that were able to rebuild are left with no neighbors or neighborhoods.  It was quiet in the Lower 9th.  An eerie sort of feeling

We met with a small handful of people and organizations from the area and it helped me feel there was a silver lining along this long black cloud.

We started today with our efforts and the organization Rebuilding Together.  One house, one neighborhood and one street block at a time.

I stood after a long today feeling humbled and thankful for all that has been afforded to me.  I am eager and excited for the remaining week ahead.

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