Monday, January 19, 2009

Day 7: Saturday, January 17, 2009

After a week of hard work, still adjusting to the time, and doing some final settling arrangements, a very much deserved Saturday was dedicated to the girls to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the "The Big Easy.” Before we ventured off into our own activities, however, one last visit had to be made. Remember Jean, our new friend from India House? Yesterday, the thirteen of us (plus Robin & Jen) came together at Jean's house to help her rummage through all her possessions and clean out the mess that the storm had left behind (See Blog, Day 6) Sad to say that Jean left extremely early this morning, so many of us were unable to give her a happy farewell. She flew out to North Carolina where she plans to live with her son for the time being. Jean's departure was definitely bittersweet, but being with family is where she deserved to be. And although Jean was no longer with us in New Orleans, our work here was not yet complete.
Amongst all the cleaning, one thing that Jean was adamant about was that we found a specific trunk that was of huge sentimental value to her. In that trunk were the possessions of John, one of her 3 sons, who died from cancer back in 1983. It was definitely a silence-filled moment in the room when we found John's trunk that had contained all of his hospital gown, documents, and letters.In the process of final packaging, we found several letters that Jean and Frank (her husband) had written to one another. These letters were filled with humorous, heart-felt, and beautifully written words--something you would hear from a line in "The Notebook." They documented almost every aspect of their lives, and going through all their belongings, it seemed like we knew these people all our lives. We knew about their hobbies--they loved collecting paintings, fossils, books, pictures, and souvenirs. We saw their collection of work that had been saved throughout the years of their art careers. It was as if Jean's entire life was unraveling right before our eyes, which all happened in the span of these last two days. Our meeting with Jean was an unforgettable experience that seemed all meant to be. It "just so happened to be" that Jean who was in need of help ran into 13 ladies who had a free Friday and Saturday morning to spare. Whatever the case, Jean was one of the many people in New Orleans that, without a doubt, will be forever remembered!

This was certainly an exciting Saturday for many of the girls who had their families coming into New Orleans. [Big] Stephanie Landero and Michele Delgado were extremely happy to see their parents today. Roxanne, Nikki, and Alicia joined Michele and her parents out for a night in the town. They ate at Margaritaville, which they describe as having delicious food & highly recommend it! Stephanie and her family, on the other hand, went to dinner with Anne and Scarlett and dined on seafood at Pat O'Briens.

While Stephanie, Melissa, and Dora stayed back at the hostel, Keelia and Lauren wasted no time to explore the big city. They purchased their Barrack Obama bags and T-shirts so they can flaunt it on Tuesday’s Inauguration Day. We are counting down the minutes..Go Obama!

We hope you enjoyed tuning in to another fun filled day of our life in New Orleans. And Remember, "What happens in New Orleans, only happens in New Orleans!"

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