Sofia Cartagena Blog 2

These first few days have been really enjoyable for me. Not only have I spent time bonding with my fellow first years more than I have this past semester, I’ve also gotten to know some of the chaperones a bit better. The time spent painting the siding of the house, trimming baseboards for the floor, and conversing with everyone was truly amazing. I am excited to see the final product of the house that displays all of our hard work and determination. After going on a tour of the city, we witnessed how even after 13 years the city has yet to be rebuilt. Throughout my experience thus far I have learned how resilient the residents of NOLA truly are. By having this opportunity to help build a house for a person who has, for example, not been able to return to NOLA since Hurricane Katrina is an uplifting and unforgettable experience.

Sofia Cartagena Blog 1

Going into this trip I am looking forward to developing stronger relationships with my Bonner Class. I’m looking forward to working with them on our SBP projects! I can’t wait to see the result of all of our hard work and determination. Prior to this trip, I learned in our FSP that FEMA underestimated the severity of the Hurricane Katrina that was headed towards NOLA, thereby sending only a quarter of available search and rescue teams to the region. Not only did they send a quarter of their available teams but they did not send any personnel to New Orleans until after the storm had passed. I hope while on the trip I’ll be able to gain understanding of how far New Orleans has come, years after Hurricane Katrina has passed, and how they have slowly been able to recover since. I’m looking forward to helping rebuild houses in the lower ninth ward with my fellow Bonner Community Scholars and others involved with SBP.



Alexandria Rudolph Blog 2

So far, the trip has lived up and exceeded my expectations. I have learned a lot about the city of New Orleans and have been able to explore it while still serving the 9th Ward community. I also have gotten closer to everyone in Bonner. Living with everyone and spending the day with all of my fellow Bonner students has given me the opportunity to rekindle friendships. The most surprising part of the trip so far was the ability to serve all day and still have the trip feel like vacation. Working till late afternoon gives me the opportunity to do a lot of work. Every night, there is something to do such as having free time in the French Quarter, playing games with my other Bonners, or even seeing a basketball game. I am able to appreciate the work I’m doing while still having some part of a vacation. Before the trip is over, I would like to learn a little more of the traditions and cultures of New Orleans such as how the French Quarter came to be or why Mardi Gras is a tradition.

Kayla Taylor Blog 2

The trip has met some original expectations. Honestly, I thought we’d would assist/help with the laying of the houses literal foundation but stepping back now it’s probably better that we had not. Although, we did get to do some pretty cool and handy things within the house such as flooring, using the electric saw to cut and put in baseboards, and painting ceilings. Going into the French Quarter at night was enjoyable as well but besides sightseeing and eating there wasn’t too much to do which was pretty surprising. On the contrast it’s surprising in a shocking factor that so many individuals/families fell victim to contractor fraud and that those who committed such acts took advantage of those in such a fragile state. The trip has brought the Bonner girls closer together which is a positive thing. Before the trip is over, I would like to learn more about “The Living Ninth Ward” and current situations of the Lower Ninth Ward (without being invasive to current residents).

Alyssa Sedacca Blog 2

The trip has met some of my expectations as well as not met some of them. I knew we would be doing work on a house, but I did not know what exactly that entailed. We were split into two groups, which is something I did not expect. My group has been doing painting for the most part, which has been surprisingly more difficult than I first thought it would be. Wednesday (today) we could not paint because it was raining, so we went to a different house. This house was very different. It had a very interesting backstory, unlike the other house we worked on. This house is owned by an old woman, and it must have been so beautiful before Hurricane Katrina. It has not been repaired much at all since, and that made me so sad because of how much the woman and her family clearly cared about it. It's so heartbreaking that every time she tried to get it repaired, she was conned and her house is still not fixed after so much time. We were gutting the house, which was very difficult and kind of …

Jocelyne Guzman Blog 2

This trip was not what I expected or planned it to be. It has been so much more filling and a great experience so far. It is difficult because of school work to get our class together a lot of the times, so this has been such a great bonding experience as well. I have gotten to know those in my class even more and work and laugh with them. A challenge so far has been the work on the floors. It was very tedious but as a group we were able to get it done and it was such a great feeling. I would definitely like to get to know my class more and the history of Katrina and its impact.