Monday, January 01, 2007


Three weeks ago today, Sarah Fischer (above in orange) mapped houses in Gentilly for the first time. These photos taken this morning of Sarah leading residents in how to map. Within the team, she owns the process for creating walking assignments.

Sarah is a student in Dartmouth's Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program. She has become our team specialist who's on top of the geography of what we have and have not covered in Gentilly. Having become our specialist in these matters, she recommends where all of us need to map next in order be most effective. Once she and I confirm that our base assumptions are aligned, I go with exactly what she recommends.

Other team members Nick, Zsuzsa, and Owyn are leaders in their own right too. Each of us has to be for this to work.

Among the Gentilly residents there are leaders too. There are different kinds of leaders, and they vary in age, gender, and race. Most of the residents I'm referring to as leaders don't hold formal titles as they are volunteering in their communities, but leaders they are.

We had several residents volunteer this morning. I think only one was someone we hadn't called to schedule. At 1pm today, we expect more than several of the volunteers who have walked with us before. And this morning I've heard from 3 new people who will volunteer.


Blogger Zsuzsa said...

Monday, January 1, 2007
Courage & Cookies

Happy 2007 Everyone!

We celebrated in New Orleans with New Year Eve's dinner and
street festivities.In the morn of January 1st we were ready to greet
volunteers on the corner of Paris and Mirabeau Avenues. It was a
gorgeous day today prefect for walking quiet streets beaming in

The Gentilly Project has been a rich and complex experience. It started
in early December for us, grad students. We came
to New Orleans to gut houses. Only in 2 days our group of 9 finished
a house. Hard physical work made us strong as a group. We learned to trust
our leaders - as well as ourselves & each other - and became our own.
Yet it would have been a shame if we had not "stumbled upon" Professor
Quintus Jett. (Two thumbs way up again for Abbey Allen on that!)
The Gentilly Project allowed us to bring into into it brainpower, creativity,
graduate-level maturity, enthusiasm and open-mindedness. Thus the "Good Foot"
theme was born.

We walked with and talked to real people, men and women who gradually
realized that we weren't just another group of surveyors and our smiles
were (and are :) genuine. They started trusting the colors of our T-shirts (Blue
for the "New Orleans or Bust Grad Team '06" and Green for Dartmouth). They
smiled back and thanked us for our time and help. They let us know they had heard
about us. Hopefully, they will remember that those Dartmouth people who
we walking their streets to make a difference came with a clear purpose and
finished it. And that our field trips were not about implementations of academic
principles. We DID care to hear their stories. We MEANT to help Gentilly
build a sense of greater community. And that we DO LOVE this city.

Our fortune cookie messages that came with lunch today between
finishing two neighborhoods for desert made the "Good Foot"
vibe strong as ever. May this new year of 2007 deliver each what they had wished for.
And a Happy New Year to the beautiful people of New Orleans!

Posted by Zsuzsa at 3:17 PM

6:57 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks for such a nice blog entry about me Splinter! I hope that you had fun being the point person with all the U Mass crew. Wish we could have been there.

5:24 PM  

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