A LONG, STRANGE SPRING BREAK
Told that we'd be staying at a church in
the Lower Ninth Ward, we envisioned
sleeping on the floor of a fellowship hall
or on pews. As we pulled up to our desti-
nation, my jaw dropped.
M a y l Jlln e 2006
understand why. The city was destroyed
and desolate. I wouldn't want to live amid
that much devastation, either.
We gutted houses from about 9 to 5
each day. We were fed dinner at camp, but
it was usually so meager that we went to
Bourbon Street each night for a real meal.
It was the only part of the city that didn't
look completely destroyed.
And while you were there, you could
forget about what surrounded you.
Despite our less-than-quality accom-
modations, we were happy. We were there
doing what we went to do. And we knew
we were helping people.
Strangers would stop and tell us "thank
you." Some would bring Gatorade and
water to our work sites. One woman gave
By Friday, we were ready for a break,
and our beloved Tar Heels were going to
provide it. The men's basketball team's
NCAA tournament first-round game was
that night, and after calling nearly 50
sports bars, we found one that would let
us watch it.
We got to the bar about an hour
before tip-off, so we'd have time to eat
and enjoy ourselves before the game. My
table was near the back door, so everyone
entering and leaving walked right past me.
I hadn't been done with my po' boy sand-
wich for 30 seconds when I looked up
March 17, 2006
Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel
The students found respite in basketball, searching the city until
they found a sports bar that
would air Carolina's first-round
The author with former Sen. John
Edwards ' 77, who managed to
find the same game location -
and a friendly crowd.