Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: New Orleans Outreach

Tulane Vista life
“This past week the major events concerning my job seemed to center strongly around my Tulane Vista position. On Thursday night February 4th we greeted two new Tulane Vistas. They are Nick and Nick. One Nick is going to work as a Vista for City Hall and the other Nick is working with the Wetlands and Gulf Restoration.  We had a get together and it was actually fun. People laughed, talked, and generally let loose. I consumed copious amounts of pizza and baked Cheetos and the mediavista performed a dance to her favorite song.  I called it an early night because we had a service project in the morning.

Bright in early Friday February 5th we all met at Our School at Blair Grocery in the 9th ward to start our volunteer project.Our School at Blair Grocery was founded by Nate Turner. He has a PhD from Emory University and is a former teacher from New York.  He has been working for the past year to turn an old run down grocery store in the 9th ward into a community garden and alternative school. We met with Nate and introduced ourselves and then he gave us an in depth overview of his background, mission, and where he is now and where he would like to go with Blair Grocery. After a brief Q and A we were put to work. My group’s job was to turn a huge pile of compost. There were about seven of us and it took us four hours to complete the job; so you can imagine how big a pile of compost we had to turn. I will be honest this was my first time ever turning a pile of compost. For those of you who may not know what it entails, we had to move the pile from one spot to another, placing pipes in the center of the compost so it could breathe. This probably does not sound like fun; man did it smell, however, it was really fun. Our group decided it would be cool to name our team we agreed on the Who Dat Compost Rangers. The four hours went by fast with Tori, Christina, and Dominica making up cheers and songs for the Who Dat Compost Rangers. We had fun and felt accomplished when it was all done. There is a lot to be said about getting out of the office once in awhile, getting dirty, and doing some hard manual labor.

The reason why I am writing about my experiences with Tulane Vistas is because this week we had a huge discussion about how the Friday Vista meetings were not going as we hoped. It is true that sometimes the Friday meetings are frustrating and do not seem relevant, however, considering how much I value the connections and experiences I have working with the other Vistas, the Friday meetings do play an important role in shaping my Vista experience.” – Kelly Holmes, AmeriCorps VISTA Member

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About Tulane VISTA

Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.

One comment on “Field Report: New Orleans Outreach

  1. Dominica Garza
    March 3, 2010

    I am normally not one to get too excited at the prospect of performing manual labor particularly involving a large pile of steamy-smelly compost; however I must admit I had a fun time with the Who Dat Compost Rangers at our last service project. For me, it was a great opportunity to connect with VISTAs on a more personable level while getting my hands (or in this case my shoes and pants) dirty. Hopefully, this is just the start of a things to come!

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2010 by in New Orleans Outreach and tagged , , , , .

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