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Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire

James Dellisola ('18), Saint Anselm College:

This trip has been the best experience of my life.  It allowed me to meet amazing people and learn about the culture and struggles of the New Orleans community.  I was able to provide hope and support to the community while engaging in some of the most intense and powerful community service at the New Orleans Mission.  It was amazing to talk to people who have been through so much but are the most positive and incredible people I have ever met.  Embrace the culture of New Orleans and engage with as many people as possible!  Overall, this week has allowed me to see the world from a different perspective and encourage myself to create change in the world.  Sr. Bonnie and Sergio provided an environment of hospitality and support to make this trip as great as I've described.  The Duchesne House and the city of New Orleans will forever hold a place in my heart!

 

I love how involved our trip was.  I wasn't just coming over and building a house, we got to learn about who and why we are helping.  From the Katrina Museum to meeting (Mardi Gras Indian) Chief David, we got to experience a culture of positivity after such a destructive event.  Duchesne House really organizes such a wonderful 10 days packed with sadness, joy, humor and hope.  Open up and share.  Ashe!    ~Meggie Curtis ('18)

 

Literally this trip has been outside my comfort zone.  And I have enjoyed every second of it.  Learning about the culture in New Orleans and helping the community was unbelieveable.  Don't be afraid to fully immerse yourself in every activity because that's the only way to really get something out of this trip.  I will remember this for the rest of my life.  Thank you for the memories, NOLA.  ~Tommy Royer ('18)

 

This was my first mission trip and I couldn't have asked for a better place to come!  I learned so m uch about myself and the community of New Orleans.  My heart was warmed every day by the hope and strength of the people.  Sr. Bonnie and Sergio were amazing.  We couldn't have done it without them!  ~Caly Farina ('20)

 

From  Santa Clara University:

New Orleans holds a special place in my heart after the week that we were able to spend here.  Thank you, Sr. Bonnie and Sergio for everything that you did to make our Immersion such a meaningful and insightful experience.  We became such a close-knit squad over the course of this week and the Duchesne House really made us feel like we were at home.  We spent this fantastic week volunteering at the Saint Bernard Project (SBP) and were able to sand and mud a house to get it ready for painting.  It's really amazing to think about all the work that is needed to get a house built up and running.  Through our work, I felt so lucky for the opportunity to see all of the good that can come from sincere compassion and love.  This city (and the whole world) is filled with so many beautiful hearts.  Disasters like hurricane Katrina create lasting effects that can never be erased.  Through our experience, I learned that is is critical for us to be perceptive of any injustices that may make people vulnerable or may prevent recovery from unfolding.  I am so thankful for the experiences that our group shared.  I think that I have found life-long friends that I will love forever.  Thank you to New Orleans and Duchesne House for such an amazing week and for all of the memories!  ~Zach Ehlinger ('18)

 

A mere paragraph cannot express all of the feelings that have emerged on this trip.  For me, the most impactful part of this trip has been going to Studio Be.  The artwork we saw was raw, honest, beautiful and inspiring.  My favorite quote was, "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds."  This quote was symbolic of something very important that I saw in New Orleans: the amazing will to survive that people have.  I am so happy to have gone on this trip and get the inspiration I need to be an activist protecting and repairing the things I care about.  ~Raylene Hernandez ('18)

 

This immersion has been like nothing I've experienced before!  Thanks to Duchesne House for showing us an amazing time here.  I have learned a lot about myself and the surrounding community, even though it is just the tip of the iceberg in my short time here.  To future volunteers, I encourage you to push yourself and fully open yourself up to the community.  ~Justin Meeken ('19)