George Cox Elementary / The Common Ground Collective / The Poydras Home / Interviews Conducted by Xavier University Students / NOLA Students at Lamar High School in Arlington, Texas / Vietnamese American Young Leaders Assoc. (VAYLA) / Lakeview Civic Improvement Association / Gert Town /

Vietnamese American Young Leaders Assoc. (VAYLA)

Name: Jacqueline Tran
Age: 18
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Clinical Worker

“Everybody motivated everybody to come back. We were like, 'Yeah, we've been through worse. We can go through this. Everybody just come back.'“

Name: Hoa Vu
Age: 18
Home: New Orleans East
Occupation: Student

“[Before the storm] they were scared of the black Americans . . . Now, you know, they talk to black Americans. Some of them, you know, they know how it feels too, and they're really touched by that . . . There's people that are in even more need than us. “

Name: Hung Nguyen
Age: 24
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Placement Officer

“We had about 80 - 100 people in the house . . . it's in the countryside, so it wasn't as bad. But still I had to sleep on the pool table. “

Name: Ngoc-Dung Thi Dang
Age: 26
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Pharmacy Tech

“When the water started coming in, [my grandfather] got scared. So he went up to the roof . . . He saw looters, but other people were up on the roof, beaming flashlights and saying, 'We're still here.'“

Name: Truong-An Tran
Age: 19
Home: New Orleans East
Occupation: N/A

“Now they're building all the landfills around us . . . They're just throwing all kinds of toxic waste in there. And this canal right here? They're still dumping things in there, too. “

Name: Cindy Tran
Age: 27
Home: New Orleans East
Occupation: Manicurist

“I was trying to be strong throughout the whole thing . . . 'Don't worry about the pregnant girl,' you know, 'I'm fine. . .' “

Name: Steven Nguyen
Age: 16
Home: Lafayette, LA
Occupation: Student

“I'm trying to find a school here, but I'm not sure if there's a lot of schools open this year. “

Name: Mikey Nguyen
Age: 30
Home: Baton Rouge
Occupation: Ophthalmic Assistant

“[My parents] had to stay [in Dallas] because it wasn't safe to go back yet and they have health problems - especially my dad. He was so concerned that he actually had a heart attack.“

Name: Quang Nguyen
Age: 24
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Ultra Sound Technician

“"[Our elders are] too old to actually go out and have a change. We can't take them out to the big city, all those crowded places. Most of them can't speak English. So that's why we have our community here - for them." “

Name: Mai Tran
Age: 22
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Nail Technician

“When they told us to evacuate, thinking back, it's like you never thought you will come home to absolutely nothing.“

Name: Minh Nguyen
Age: 21
Home: New Orleans East
Occupation: Student - Community Organizer

“This is something I'm trying to stress a lot - it's not a Vietnamese-American issue. It's a New Orleans East issue. And a lot of people don't understand that.“

Name: Vuong Van Nguyen
Age: 25
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Chip Filler

“We've seen a lot of Vietnamese coming back. It's just a community and we don't want to lose it. Everybody went back and helped out and given a hand to other people.“

Name: John Tran
Age: 28
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Computer Technician

“We just want them to move it [landfill] or close it. Somewhere else. You know. Somewhere's like there's no neighborhoods. Somewhere's like it's abandoned.“

Name: Duc Nguyen
Age: 26
Home: New Orleans East
Occupation: Tech Support

“I can't see myself anywhere but here, because I was born and raised here. If I move elsewhere it's like starting a new life. “

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The I-10 Witness continues to interview New Orleans residents about their storm related experiences. In conjunction with Xavier University's Department of Communications, we recently completed several rounds of interviews at St. Dominic's Church in Lakeview, Mary Queen of Vietnam Church in New Orleans East and the Uptown Shepard's Center. This week we will also continue to collect stories in Gert Town. Last month, we we're proud to collaborate with Mourning Line Productions and the 78th Street Theater in Manhattan, NY for our first public installation of these narratives. The show was seen by several New Yorkers who continue to visit our website. It is our hope that these types of events can keep this story alive in the hearts and minds of people throughout this country. As always, if you or anyone you know is interested in recording their story or helping to gather stories please contact us through the site as we would be happy to meet with you at your convenience.