Greetings from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where we are spending the night on our way back to Madison. It has been a great week for all of us.
We spend Friday seeing some of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. On the way from Biloxi to New Orleans, we drove along the Gulf Coast, including an amazingly beautiful and haunting trip through the Bayous to the southeast of New Orleans. We got a briefing on the situation from a woman at Good Shepherd UCC in Metarie, who works with relief groups. She took us over the Ninth Ward and the Lower Ninth Ward to see what is happening there now.
In the Lower Ninth, one of the poorest areas of the city, it is striking how few homes have been rebuilt four years after Katrina. We did see the very modern and sustainable homes being built with help from the Brad Pitt Foundation. In the main Ninth Ward, which suffered a bit less destruction during the storm, we saw Musicians Village, a reconstruction project of the Marsalis family to help keep musicians in New Orleans by helping them with housing.
Then it was down to the French Quarter, dinner in Metarie at a wonderful oyster restaurant. We were on the road on Saturday by 9 a.m.