1) I wanted to dedicate part of this post to a particular woman: Kathleen McKwoen. She was a home health nurse who was held at gunpoint and raped in 2012. Since then, she has been struggling to hold a job, but still fights to support her two kids as well as a terminally ill man. The perpetrators have recently all been convicted; nevertheless her finances are now in ruins. She’s even been evicted from her home not too long ago. Hearing about her during a Sexual Assault Response Team meeting, and more from DA’s who worked with her I couldn’t help but be struck awed and inspired. This woman has been through so much, even before the traumatic event, but still manages to stay so strong and compassionate for not only her family, but also an unrelated person in need of help (the terminally ill man). She is the epitome of the strength, courage, tenacity, and kindness of mankind. Nick and I were able to set up a fundraiser for her in hopes of helping ease her financial struggles. The link to the fundraiser is found below along with a more comprehensive story of Kat:
Please help us out!
2) This weekend, the girls’ suites have suffered the tragedy of a clogged pipe. Apparently the suites above ours were unaware that one should not dump food and grease down the pipes, creating a blockage further down the connecting pipes. As a result, the water levels rose (even without us using the water!) in our sinks and eventually over flooded. The situation of my suite’s sink was particularly dire.
However, the point I’m trying to make isn’t about the frustration of the event itself, but about how lucky I am to be in the same DukeEngage program with the people I’m with. In response to our frantic, near hysteric, and unsuccessful attempt to keep the water from overflowing, people from other rooms jumped in without another thought to help. Not only did they help bucket the foul water from the sink with their pots and bowls, but they also helped clean the area and our kitchenware! I am forever thankful for their willingness to lend a hand and kindness at 12:30AM on a Friday night. This is only one of the many instances where the DukeEngagers have displayed downright awesomeness, and I am so happy to have the chance to work with and get to know them during this trip.
In conclusion, it seems like I focused mostly on the people I’ve met on this trip. New Orleans is an amazing city, but it definitely would not be the same without them to touch and inspire me.