The story of Team Bourbon Street
Throughout the trip to New Orleans, our group was given the opportunity to listen to different trials and tribulations families went through due to the storm. Each family’s struggles have only made them stronger and in turn, they will always be in our thoughts and prayers.
Al and Barbara were two of the kindest people we have ever met. They lived in their home for 26 years and even had doubts about evacuating due to Katrina. However, in the aftermath of the storm, they are two of the strongest people. They had to watch as all of their precious possessions were destroyed and taken from the home to FEMA trash piles. Barbara even lost her wedding dress and also her beautiful paintings she had made. While this family lost almost everything they had, Al and Barbara demonstrated to our group that materialistic possessions mean nothing in this world, it is family that truly matters. In the end, they were thankful they had each other and also their memories, which will last a lifetime.
Shirley suffered tremendously due to Katrina. Not only did Shirley lose her home, she dealt with the death of her mother and her neighbor due to it. She is also in the process of losing her husband to cancer and she is also undergoing medical problems. What’s worst, due to the storm, Shirley has not received enough money from FEMA. Therefore, she does not have an adequate amount of money to pay her medical expenses or even begin to rebuild her home. Instead, she is living in an apartment she can barely afford with little to no furniture. Shirley’s story was truly devastating to hear. She stated that “the media portrays the city as beginning to come back to life, but what about the neighborhoods?” Ultimately, it was terrible for all of us to see someone in such struggle. We only hope that she can receive more money from FEMA and she will always be in our prayers.
For being only twelve years old, Raquel has experienced more than any of us could ever imagine. Her family did not evacuate their home until after the storm had hit. While evacuating, her grandmother was bitten by a snake and did not receive medical attention until she arrived at their evacuation site in Baton Rouge. Raquel and her brother have also been separated from their mother due to the storm. Their mother is in Texas working while Raquel and her brother have moved back to New Orleans to live with their grandmother. Unlike typical twelve year old children, Raquel is no longer in school. Instead, she stays home and helps take care of her grandmother. This remarkable family was the only one that our group witnessed living in a trailer on their property. It was unbelievable how cramped the quarters were, with only one bedroom and a pair of bunk beds. Since there is not enough room for the whole family to sleep comfortably, Raquel’s brother sleeps on the couch. Raquel told us that she only hopes their house will be rebuilt as soon as possible, since she hates taking showers in the small bathroom the trailer has to offer.
Joyce had no idea how catastrophic the storm would be and also had doubts about evacuating. Her brother was the one who made her leave. Sadly, Joyce had to leave her dog behind and only hopes that he survived the storm and is safe. She ended up going to stay at her sisters best friends home around 70 miles outside the city. Her sisters best friend was so generous throughout the storm, she opened her home up to 40 people who were abandoned and had no where to go during the storm.