Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Marching On: Field Report- Committee For a Better New Orleans

Springtime has arrived! It’s so beautiful out and it makes me want to spend all my time outside. I love spring, especially in New Orleans. There’s so much going on and people seem to be generally in good spirits. Going home this past weekend makes me realize that I soon have to know what it means to miss New Orleans. I am pretty committed to moving back to Massachusetts after my VISTA term, although the forty degree temperature drop between here and there made me question my sanity for wanting to expose myself to negative temperatures and snowfall. But in reality, I never know where I’m going to end up. I keep going back to this saying: “if you want God to laugh, tell Him your plans.” This has made me slow down on the fastidious planning, deciding to take a couple moments to breathe and let the wind / opportunity take me wherever it may. Spring is bringing exciting things, more work to go along with the more and more festivals occurring.

FitNOLA, through the New Orleans Health Department, has free fitness classes in parks all over the city.

FitNOLA, through the New Orleans Health Department, has free fitness classes in parks all over the city.

I have a list of city entities right next to my desk at CBNO and am working hard to complete the first draft of the Citizen’s Guide. Each time I cross off an entity as being completed in my guide I get one step closer to reaching mine and CBNO’s goal. It’s been exciting to be able to work through the guide, learning how to get the hang of it and how to use formatting to further make it easier for citizens to be able to read through it. I hope to use some of the skills Liz shared about design at our VISTA skill share to ensure it is as visually appealing as possible. I am learning so much about what the city has to offer as well. Did you know that FitNOLA has FREE exercise programs in different parks around the city? That’s awesome!

VISTAs will assist in building a playground at Dolores T. Aaron School.

VISTAs will assist in building a playground at Dolores T. Aaron School.

In other news, in just a few weeks some of the VISTAs will be helping out with building a playground at a school in New Orleans. I think it will be a really great experience to be able to see something really tangible get done. It’s also so important that kids have a safe place to play and enjoy themselves. I really commend all the people that worked so hard to get the grant for the school and to make this a possibility. Your work will have a lasting impact on the community!

In the same realm, I am hoping this guide will have a lasting impact as well. I am starting to come to the realization that no matter which way you do it, working hard in an effort to better situations for others, however big or small, can have the ability to make someone’s day or month or year in a way that you might not realize. I’ve talked to this really kind man once or twice waiting for the streetcar, and he’s said to me, “you know what, no matter what, I always smile at people and am kind to them. You never know when someone’s having a bad day and even the smallest thing can make it better.” And it’s true. Because he made my day that day too.

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One comment on “Marching On: Field Report- Committee For a Better New Orleans

  1. Jack Styczynski
    March 31, 2015

    I wonder about my own sanity when I think about moving back to the Northeast too. It’s still snowing where I am in New York! Looking forward to working on the playground.

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This entry was posted on March 31, 2015 by in VISTA Field Reports.

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