I did my best to see as much of the country as I could in the beginning of my college career. Here are some notable examples.
New Orleans, Louisiana | Saturday, Dec. 16 to Dec. 23, 2006 | Service Trip
It was late August 2005 that Hurricane Katrina rattled through the Gulf Coast, beginning a series of destructive events in New Orleans, one of the many great U.S. cultural centers. Americans were touched and flooded the entire region, offering services and products. Thousands of displaced Louisianians were brought all the way to my Philadelphia neighborhood near Temple University. I spent a great deal of time there, acting as roving security, an untrained 20-something in a condemned school-turned-evacuee-shelter stuffed with too many suffering and desperate people.
(Photos courtesy of my talented friend Neal Santos)
More than a year later, I was presented with the opportunity to do more. With a few friends, I flew to New Orleans to help Common Ground Relief, an organization that had been helping to clean up from the aftermath of Katrina. Racial and socioeconomic politics were alive and the Lower Ninth Ward seemed it was days after the end of war, not a year after a category 3 hurricane. I slept in an abandoned classroom, ate military surplus corned beef hash and took cold showers to rid my skin of asbestos and the debris of poverty and rage and one of the deadliest storms in modern American history.
Tennessee and KY | Tues., Aug. 15 to Aug. 20, 2006 | Greg Babbitt and Mike Butler
Puerto Rico | July 2006 | Vacation
White River, SD | Thurs., May 11 to May 17, 2006 | Service Immersion
Read my reflections on my first jaunt there, during spring 2006 with a volunteer group, here.
Laredo, Texas | Sat., March 5 to March 12, 2006 | Alt. Spring Break
Read a reflection from that trip here.
Montana Road Trip | Monday, June 20 to July 1, 2005 | Michael Butler
Mepkin Abbey | Monday, June 13 to June 17, 2005| Moncks Corner, SC
I spent a week at the historic Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist monastery.