Back to the Bayou
New Orleans and Slidell, LA, and Atlanta, GA
One of my very first Postcards was from Louisiana. I visited New Orleans and Slidell. A little later, a huge hurricane called Katrina hit there and caused lots of damage. So now we've returned to make sure all of our friends are okay.
The great news is that Brittany, Niya, Dylan, and their families are all okay. The bad news is, Brittany and Niya lost their old homes. But the other good news is that they have NEW homes!
Niya and Brittany live in Atlanta now. Niya and her parents think they'll probably stay there, but Brittany's family plans to move back to New Orleans and rebuild their house. (And Colin, who we met last time, now lives in Connecticut.)
Brittany and her family lost almost everything in New Orleans. After the hurricane, they moved to Atlanta, Georgia, because they have relatives there. Take a look at Brittany talking about their old house.
Niya and her family moved to Atlanta, too. Niya and her family stilt dance, a tradition that began in Ivory Coast, Africa. Their home in New Orleans was also destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. But they managed to save some of their stilts and fancy costumes.
New Orleans and Slidell are so different after Hurricane Katrina. People there are working very hard to get their lives in order. But no one can do it alone. That’s why Los Viajeros wrote the song After the Hurricane.
Niya's new classmates in Atlanta didn't know she was a stilt dancer. When she and her dad put on a show, her friends were surprised (and impressed). It goes to show you: everyone has hidden talents!
Dylan and his family stayed in their house during the hurricane. Their house, in the bayou, was already up on stilts. Even so, the eight-foot-deep water rose almost all the way up to their first floor. It was pretty scary!
After the hurricane, Dylan had no electricity and not much food. Their neighbors, who had left their homes to escape the hurricane, said that Dylan and his family could eat THEIR extra food. Talk about great neighbors!
Francine wrote that everyone back home is so amazed by all my Louisiana friends. They've been through so much, and are doing so well. So from Elwood City, they all send a big round of applause, with lots of cheering!
Dylan and many others helped their neighbors after the hurricane. Dylan and I also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, helping people clean up and build new houses. Even a year after the hurricane, there's still lots to do!
If you want to learn about my first visit to Louisiana, read my New Orleans blog and my Slidell and Larose blog.