Santa Clara University

Helping the Big Easy

By Caroline Mooser, SCU freshman from Baltimore, Md.

Upon arriving at our worksite, I was alarmed that we were the only volunteers on the block. I thought there would have been greater interest and will power to save this city from falling into oblivion.

Driving through the neighborhoods, I imagined what the scene looked like a year before. It was depressing to think that the Big Easy, a city full of personality, jazz, and culinary specialties, was now a desolate and abandoned ghost town.

It felt eerie to walk through an area so lifeless and desolate such as the Ninth Ward, the neighborhood that was hardest hit. Off in the distance I could hear the sound of a bulldozer tearing down a home someone had once taken pride in maintaining and calling their own.

Veronica, a city native, showed us the room of her house where she had once run her own sewing business. Her beautiful fabrics were now putrid as they lay in drawers full of foul-smelling water. Veronica lost her livelihood and her house. However, she was ready to rebuild and make new memories. While hacking down drywall and hauling away her possessions, I felt frustrated and angered that a country with ample resources had failed its people in providing adequate and immediate aid.