Name: Danny Jones
Hometown: Williamsburg, VA
Major: Religious Studies and Education
Since returning from New Orleans, I have come to several conclusions. First and
foremost, I miss New Orleans more than I could ever describe. I miss the cooking.
I miss the look of the French Quarter. But most of all, I miss the people there.
Each individual that we met was the most incredible person that I’ve ever met. We
met some truly spectacular people. I knew that we would touch their lives and help
them, but I never imagined that they would touch my life and help me in the way
that they did.
Second, I miss our group, all 31 of them. I wanted to kill each and every one of
them at one point while we were down there, but I found it odd waking up the next
morning and not having them there right next to me. I miss complaining with them
about food. I miss working beside people that I never knew existed before this trip.
But most of all, and most important of all, I miss my new 31 best friends that I
made on this trip.
Third, I have learned that no one back home will ever be able to understand what
we went through exactly. No one will ever understand the feeling that you get when
you see entire blocks gone. No one will ever understand just how high that water
line was. No one will ever understand that exact feeling that you get when you walk
into a house for the first time and you see all of this family’s belongings thrown
about all over the house. No one will ever understand the feeling that you get when
you finish with a house and you go to say goodbye to the family and you see the
emotion on their faces. No one will ever understand that moment when the family
is trying to put into words how thankful they are for you and for what you have
done to help them to begin to rebuild their lives. And no one will ever understand
that feeling when you’re standing there listening to this family tell you how thankful
they are for you, when all you want to do is express how thankful you are for them
and how thankful you are that you got the opportunity to help them and to have new
people as remarkable as they are enter your life. No one will ever understand until
they go through it themselves.
Finally,the past two weeks were the best two weeks of my life. Never have I done
something so remarkable and something that has meant so much to me and to others.
I just miss the whole experience so much. But as sad as I am for it all, I have
come away with understanding one of the most important messages that I have ever
learned: that it is through giving that we truly receive. Never has this been truer.
So, while the 32 of us might have gone down to New Orleans to help these people
begin to rebuild their lives, it is us who have been truly blessed and who have
received more than anyone could ever receive.