Student-Athletes Pitch In To Build Homes
Jan. 9, 2012
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana - Boston College student-athletes from several teams have embarked on an annual Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) trip to New Orleans in order to help build homes in the areas most affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Each day of their journey, one student-athlete will be posting a blog about that day's adventures. Continue reading below for Day One's entry and keeping checking back this week for a new posting each day.
I can't believe our first full day in New Orleans is almost done! We started the day bright and early here at the Mission. We all had a delicious hot breakfast of sausage, eggs and biscuits, before heading out the door to explore. We first headed to the lower ninth ward where we were able to see first-hand some of what remains in the part of town that was hit worst by Hurricane Katrina. We drove past empty foundations, a reminder of the houses that once stood there before the levees broke and completely flooded the surrounding area and parishes. We were able to get out and take a look at the canal created by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s and the levees, which gave way during Katrina causing the majority of the flooding in the city. As we walked around the neighborhood, we had a chance to talk to some of the local workers who were cleaning up some of the abandoned properties. Mickey, who grew up and lived in New Orleans his whole life, survived the storm and gave us a whole new perspective.
On our way to our next stop we were able to go by and see the homes some of us had worked on last year. For Bryan [Murray, football], Jack [Linehan, track], Caroline [Quincy, sailing] and I, we were able to see some of the amazing progress that had been made and what cool transformations have taken place since we had last seen the houses in the St. Bernard Parish that we had helped to build just a year ago.
After a journey across the longest bridge in the world, built over Lake Ponchartrain, we arrived in Madisonville at Lake Castle Academy. Lake Castle Academy is a private grammar school, ranging from pre-K to eighth grade, with over 600 students enrolled. We were greeted by their fantastic staff and right away felt at home. Mr. Butera, the principal and father of freshman baseball player, Blake Butera, told us a little about Lake Castle, what a great school it is and how hard the students work. We had the opportunity to split up by sports and were given a group of students that were interested in the sport we play at school. The kids were able to ask questions and we got to hang out with them while we explained some of the things we do at BC. Alex [Trobbe, volleyball], Courtney [Seitz, volleyball] and I had an adorable and energetic group of girls, ranging from fifth through eighth grade. We told them all about volleyball and the hard work it takes to be a student-athlete. Hopefully they thought we gave them some good advice and that they had as much fun with us as we had hanging out with them!
Mr. Butera and the faculty at Lake Castle Academy then treated us to some amazing shrimp Po'Boys. Definitely one of the most delicious (and biggest) sandwiches I've had! The side of gumbo, red beans and rice hit the spot. You just can't beat the food you can get here in NOLA.
Tonight we're all excited to hang out and go bowling at Rock n' Bowl just down the road from the Mission. Hopefully we all get some strikes and are able to catch some of the BCS Championship game. I'm sure everyone is looking forward to starting work with the St. Bernard Project tomorrow!