Pre-Trip Research + Journals
If you’re interested in getting even more out of your service trip to New Orleans, we recommend doing some pre-trip reading and viewing! To take it a step further, many volunteers have kept daily journals of their experiences, some privately, some as a group.
Suggested Reading (and Viewing) List
We don’t have quite the viewership of Oprah, but we do love to read! And watch movies. :)
An accurate depiction of the levee and floodwall breaches that occurred when Hurricane Katrina hit. Especially note the role the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MR-GO) played in catastrophically flooding the Lower Ninth Ward.
Protecting New Orleans isn’t simply putting up levees and floodwalls. The most important protection isn’t man-made, but natural features in our wetlands. Due to the channelization of the Mississippi River and thousands of miles of canals dug for oil production pipelines, our wetlands have been heavily damaged over the past 100 years. We now must work to restore them as well as divert freshwater from the river to begin building land once again.
The largest natural disaster in American History before Hurricane Katrina, the Flood of 1927 had an immense impact on our country that is still being felt today. It also digs into New Orleans’ strategic importance tied to the Mississippi River and how our management of the river has a significant effect on NOLA’s long-term protection and viability.
If you want a wide-angle look at New Orleans half a decade after Katrina, and you enjoy raw, unfiltered documentaries, this is your ticket.
Spike Lee’s first documentary about post-Katrina New Orleans, one year after. It probably makes sense to watch this one first.
We’re working on more wide-ranging options for journals, but the following is a good source and ongoing partner of ours!
Can-Do Missions is an incredible, Lutheran-based organization that coordinates mission trips for youth. By working through Can-Do, you’ll receive a t-shirt, journal for each participant, training materials and journals, and have the option of letting them coordinate your insured transportation while you’re here.