Saturday, April 25, 2009


My son spent his spring break in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans with 29 fellow teenagers, 2 adults, a celebrity and a local bus driver with the organization NY2NO.

Voluntourism at its finest, this trip was probably, for most of these kids, their first time away from home without any real authority. They had to cook their own meals (a lot of cereal, sandwiches and mac & cheese), organize themselves to get everything done and be responsible for their accomplishments with little adult supervision. They gutted houses, cleared overgrown lots, planted fruit trees and canvassed the neighborhood collecting information to gather information to support the need for schools in the neighborhood (there is one elementary school and no middle or high schools any more).

When he came off the plane, he had trouble saying goodbye to his new friends, but we got genuine hugs, and for the first time in a long time, he related to us how he had spent his week using complete sentences and multi-syllable words rather than grunts and shrugs.

Link: Cult of Personality

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