Just got back from taking my child to college.

The last time we had a car trip so filled with anxiety and uncertainty it was evacuating in 2005. She was a freshman in high school and when we returned in December she returned to her flooded school to start where she left off.

An unwise decision by the school principal to make the kids take the entire “lost” semester all over again saw some additional stress heaped on an already wigged out student body. Some left and some stayed, she stayed.

We took some trips together the one I will always remember is the trip to Mexico, her country of birth.

National Palace

And life went on in our half flooded house. The dogs were glad we took them along and were as happy to be home as we were.

Ida Christmas Eve

Mexico was her birthplace and home for 13 years. Mexico made her who she is and New Orleans added the dimension of patience and joy. She lives between those 2 worlds and as hard as that is sometime she does it very well.


Standing on the shores of the Gulf with her friends in a landscape of wreckage I think they all know what it is to embrace and love your community and know when it is time to go out and be the ambassadors for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

Ida, Ashley and Ana

So off they go, to Boston, Chicago and Kansas City. I am so proud of our “Katrina Class” The ones that started in 2005 and finished in 2009.

Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led...