During April school vacation, twenty of our high school youth group members and four adult chaperones have gone to New Orleans to work on rebuilding projects and learning about social justice. Follow their adventures in the NOLA News Blog, written by Liana Raberg and Brian Sewell (left), FUUY Coordinators. Click on any photos to enlarge.
Well we have come to the end of our journey in NOLA this year and what a trip it has been! The time has flown by and included so much self discovery, growth, love, compassion, and hard work. We are so impressed with our youth and advisors.
Today was spent working on restoring window shutters, prepping and painting siding, and learning how to recycle paint in a sustainable way. Our work day was ended a little early as severe thunderstorms started to roll through the area, so we ended up returning to the bunkhouse for lunch and to sit out on the porch as the rain passed by. Our final dinner of the week was classic jambalaya prepared for us by one of the local parishioners, a huge hit! We have eaten so well this trip and are tremendously grateful to Tim and the RHINO board for connecting us with local church members willing to cook dinner for our group!
The evening was rounded out with games and a heartfelt discussion on takeaways from the trip tying back to our race and social justice dialogue from sunday, as well as expressions of personal appreciation for each member of the group (we tried to hold it together but finally broke down in the face of the overwhelming outpouring of love and appreciation). This has been a great trip and we are looking forward to continuing the work of common justice and community renewal upon our arrival back home.
We’d like to thank you, the parents, for helping to make this trip possible and for your continued support of FUUY and RE programming at Follen! We can’t do it without you.
Tomorrow will be filled with packing up, breakfast, quick showers and a trip to Dirty Coast for souvenirs and Dat Dog for some alligator! Looking forward to a safe journey home tomorrow.
Brian and Liana,
The fifth update, wow this week is flying by! We had another banner day today with major projects wrapping up at the worksites and a wicked fun trip down to Wednesday on the Square for some live music and food trucks.
After returning from the food trucks and trumpets we gathered as a group to check in on the trip thus far and dive into some deeper issues around identity and assumptions that we deal with every day. I am more and more impressed with our youth every day.
Unfortunately it appears our good weather vibes have worn off as we are expecting steady rain tomorrow. So instead of outside work we will be heading to RHINO’s warehouse to help accomplish some site prep work indoors where it’s dry.
If the good weather has to leave us we hope that it is at least headed your way.
Brian and Liana
We are excited to report that the beautiful weather continues here in sunny and 75 degree New Orleans. Today marked the completion of our second day on the work sites and our hosts remain impressed with the amount of work our group can accomplish!
Today included some tedious tests of nerve with paint scrapping and application, however, we are close to having a house completed done in a brilliant new blue!
After our workday was concluded, we returned to the bunk house to clean up and then head out to dinner at the St Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church courtesy of Jim, Ruth, and Tim! Included in dinner was a bowl of delicious Crawfish!
We concluded the evening with a group reflection on the meaning of service work and what we should be taking away from work even when it can be tedious.
We are looking forward to another great day tomorrow!
Brian and Liana
Brian and Liana