Yesterday we walked/drove around St. Bernard’s Parish to collect visual data on the multitude of cameras we brought with us. We were given a list of 10 sites around the parish to visit and we were to collect some better shots of the projects St. Bernard Project was helping to complete or had, in fact completed.
One of the more moving testimonials came from Matt, a lifelong resident of the parish who was actually working on his own home with some other AmeriCorp volunteers. He was actually a former insurance broker who lost it all in the hurricane and had decided to return and rebuild. In fact, he had already helped to rebuild 13 other homes before his own and was such a noble person, it was hard to hear his story because of its awesome power.
Another woman we interviewed had had her home already completed. She was so appreciative and stunned at the quality of the volunteers who had come to help out of their own volition.
We were told that the folks of the parish were very proud of being self-sustaining in the past, and that accepting help was a new, and sometimes challenging aspect of the rebuilding work. These folks truly were able to reach out in their time of need and were amazed and enamoured of the relief workers who have come. They still hold a lot of anger toward the U.S. government for not coming to their aid as quickly as the people and citizens who have shown up.