I spent last week in Louisana, not for a mission trip but for a clergy covenant group.
The trip started off with a seat next to an elderly couple, they smiled as I sat down then began to read each other the articles from USAToday. Luckily the plane was not that full so I quickly snatched an empty seat away from the out loud paper readers. I settled down into a pile of New Yorkers only to hear two sisters behind me continually ask each other if they knew the answers to the clues for the crossword puzzle. If that wasnt enough the two ladies in front of me were discussing their Red Hat Ladies Cruise in Florida. Finally I landed in Atlanta, grabbed some lunch and prepared for my flight to New Orleans.
The New Orleans flight went well. As we approached the Delta region I looked out the window and couldnt figure out why most of the vegetation was gray, but at least the trees were still standing. But as we descended I noticed that the trees weren't standing they were just blown over! The airport was hot! (it was 16 in RI when I left, 72 in NO) Plus hardly anyone was there and most of the shops were boarded up.
So I called Hawk and he picked me up and we went to eat at VooDoo BBQ, great place and one of the few shops open around the airport. By the way, right across the street from the Louis Armstrong Airport is a small FEMA Park.
After some grub I received a tour of NO by Hawk. The city was depressing, only a 1/4 of the stoplights worked, luckily no one was driving much. Trash was piled up on the curb: couches, rolls of molded carpet, you name it. Along many houses you could see the brown high water/mud mark - at least 3/4 the way up the front door (homes with at least two steps!). But some parts of the city, along St. Charles Ave (the originial Crescent City area) was pretty much untouced just groggy.
By that time it was time to pick up our other friends so we headed back to the airport. Once everyone arrived we headed north across the causeway for some dinner. We ate at Morton's Seafood. I had catfish and rum raisn bread pudding!
Then we headed to the Solomon Episcopal Conference Center, fantastic place to stay. For the record - always stay at Epicopal Retreat Centers.
The covenant group is comprised of 6 for this trip. We are covenanting together for friendship, accountability and trust. We can let our hair down, spill our beans, and let it all hang out knowing that we are amongst trusted friends. I am excited about this group and its possibilities.
I never thought i would dig an intentional friendship group; I always wanted a more academic group. But I realize that I need friends, good friends, for my sanity and well-being. thanks gang.
Blogging will be in full force for the next few days.