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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Habitat for Humanity Dedication

We went to a “Dedication” this afternoon – a celebratory ritual when a Habitat house is finished and the keys are handed over to the new owner. In this case it was in the “Musicians Village” in New Orleans that Habitat is constructing for musicians displaced by Katrina; a neighborhood of rainbow colored homes that will eventually number 80 and include a building for performances and classes. After the short, touching speeches, the 100 or so of us who came were treated to a zydeco concert by Sun Pie in front of the house with the new owner on bass guitar.

This was in the upper 9th district where my son Zac says that about 50% of the houses are vacant and mostly unlivable. Many homes have painted messages on them detailing the dates they were searched and whether animals were found or not. The surreal environment has generated a somewhat lawless environment for some who live there. Many of the Habitat houses get robbed of things during the building process. Doors have been taken off their hinges, electrical wiring pulled from the walls before the sheetrock gets installed, plumbing fixtures dismantled etc.

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