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New Orleans AFT volunteer update

August 13, 2008 am31 8:33 am

So here I am, almost two weeks in New Orleans, and I’ve written almost nothing. What have we (ten of us from NY, Chi, Philly, and SF, just today joined by a similar number from mostly the same places) been doing?

We knock on doors of teachers who are not members of the union. Patient, slow, we find a few who want to join now. We keep up visibility and know that more will join in time.

We helped publicize a Back to School event where school information, free school supplies, immunization, games, food, and an insectorium were all available. Road signs, flyers door to door. We assembled and sorted the book bags and supplies and books. And then we worked the tables at the event, helped with set up, clean up, etc. (The insectorium was cool)

We go into schools where teachers are overwhelned, and help set up a few classrooms, straighten, discard, rearrange, assemble, and just try to make ourselves available to teachers who could use help.

And then in the evenings we go for dinner. Lots of New Orleans food. Tonight was Voodoo barbeque. Emeril’s Delmonico on Sunday. The steakhouse in Harrah’s one night. Some Italian another. But mostly gumbo and more gumbo. Crawfish etouffe. Jambalaya. Po-boys for lunch. Or soul food. Food is important here. Food fills the gaps between work.

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