Day two was on a Saturday and I had not anticipated the crowd that appears under the bridge on Saturdays. At first I was a little overwhelmed but I held onto to the fabric of this project and let the work change me. We walked around for some time at points we were completely circled by people some interested in participating, some hungry, and others just curious. The one thing that I gained from this project was looking at these people and seeing real human beings in the midst of a struggle. It became so clear in the exchange that took place that day from handshakes to hugs. I admit I am just as guilty as the rest of us in carrying the stereotype that is so prevalent surrounding homelessness. I wanted to release that burden and this project was a way into the life of these real people. They let me enter their personal space and some even welcomed me into there ‘homes’. Thus far this project has been a gift. It has changed my perspective, outlook, and honest thankfulness.
Before we were heading out, I noticed a small garden that looked almost like a vacant lot. I asked Daniel about it and he brought us to the mission to a plot that had once been a garden. It is no longer being used because they have a terrible rat problem. From what I was told it is not even worth planting because the rats will get it before it is ripe for human consumption. I have it on my heart to make this back into a functioning garden. So I plan to return and make this a reality. If you or anyone you know in the NOLA area has soil, plants, seeds, or knows anything about rat proofing let us know. Otherwise we are on to part 2 of Project NOLA (garden included) details to come soon!