The Lower Ninth Ward is an area synonymous with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. We recently took a personal tour of the area with one of its residents, Robert Green.

Robert may have been featured in National Geographic and on various news channels and other magazines but he took his time out to take two photographers from Florida who he had never met, on a trip through the heartbreak and the inspiration.

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When I first met Robert, I had no idea that he had lost his mother and his 3-year-old granddaughter during the flooding

Most people did everything right, they tried to leave and for whatever reason, could not. Who knew that the levee would fail?

Everyone knows it wasn’t the hurricane that caused so many deaths, it was the levee being breached

In some places, you’ll find the beautiful homes that were built with the help of Brad Pitt and Mike Holmes. They’re all vivid colors and built with the latest in energy efficiency

Just a few steps away however, you may see an overgrown lot or one that has been taken care of yet still has remnants of homes that once stood

You’ll also see homes that still bear the X on the doors which show how many people were found (if any) and who and when the search took place

One of the saddest photos was found only during editing. It was a home that still had the X on the door. It had been cleaned up some because the weeds did not cover it, yet it still stood as it was ten years ago. The yard has a chain link fence with a silhouette of a dog on its gate. Next to the X on the door we found the following words messily spray painted, “Live Dog.”

Not once did we feel unsafe or scared and every single person we met in the Lower Ninth Ward was kind and happy to meet us

There was graffiti on the abandoned school we found and we even saw a few rusted out and abandoned vehicles. However, what we also saw was people who had persevered through one of the most heartbreaking tragedies in our nation’s history. These people weren’t beaten down or filled with pity; they were strong, friendly, and loved their home.

Robert made sure to take us to some of the homes to meet its residents and we were honored to do so

After the pouring down rain, the sun came out in full force – bringing with it the heat and the steam on the pavement. This was a trip we’ll never forget and hope to share with people – especially those who have a misconception of the area.