After three wonderful years of working with Operation Helping Hands in the neighborhoods, 2012 brings a change of scenery for the New Orleans class. Certainly we’ll be visiting the Crescent City as often as we can, but on this trip run by the UNH-Alternative Break Challenge, we’ll be working and sleeping across Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish. Through the years, I had the pleasure of working/staying  in St. Bernard and Jefferson, so for me, it will nice to experience another part of Southern Louisiana.

Two thirds of the class (the Baratarians and Los Islenos groups) will be volunteering for  East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity in and about Slidell, LA. The third group of nine, the Wild Magnolias, will commute over to Mandeville to work with Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West. We will all be staying in Slidell at the Peace Mission Center, which is operated by the Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church to provide housing for those volunteering in the area.

And while we will be taking I-10 in and out of the City,  the leaders and I are planning outings near our home base. In addition to a swamp tour in the nearby Pearl River basin, it look forward to sampling life and meeting good people in a place that is new to all of us. And if the experience is half as enjoyable as communicating with them long distance, we are in for a great experience.