Saturday, August 25, 2007

New Orleans: Day Two

I got up early and asked how to get o the Norwegian Seamen’s Church. I was told it was too far to walk, so of course I walked. I walked in the opposite direction. I walked under Highway Ten an overpass familiar to most Americans who watched Katrina unfold. I walked past poor neighborhoods, wealthy neighborhoods, Latino neighborhoods past African-American homes and yuppie loft revitalization areas. I walked!

I walked past a Buddhist Temple and I visited Zion Lutheran Church which was built in 1871.

Finally I got to the Norwegian Seamen’s Church. It was wonderful. It was modern with lots of wood. It looked like my relatives home in Norway. The church served all Scandinavian sailors, not just Norwegians. It also had a hostel, swimming pool, basketball court, a store and of course the sanctuary.

Prior to Katrina the minister would go out to boats in the harbor to provide spiritual assistance to Scandinavian sailors. He served over 18,000 sailors a year! Since Katrina he now serves 3000 sailors a year.

On my way back to the hotel I walked past St. Theresa of Avila church. I go inside. It is beautiful but it has been damaged. I talk with a lady placing flowers at the alter. I pray and then I am off to the hotel. It is time to get some training.

The training is great. The participants are BSSVs from all over the country, including Alaska. One member served on the Grenadian Olympic Team, another is from Brazil. This is a diverse group.

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