More than 100 Oregonians participating in the Flight of Friendship to New Orleans are staying through Wednesday, learning about — and volunteering for — Portland-based Mercy Corps’ projects there. The trip was organized by Sho Dozono, owner of Portland’s Azumano Travel agency, and his wife, Loen. The Dozonos began organizing the trip after they visited New Orleans last year and were surprised at the slow recovery from Hurricane Katrina, which hit the city and Gulf Coast in August 2005. “We were astounded at the lack of progress in the recovery effort,” Dozono said. Among the recovery projects Mercy Corps has undertaken is cleaning up New Orleans’ hard-hit Broadmoor neighborhood and “deconstruction” of damaged homes, which allows many parts of the home to be reused. Portland Tribune reporter Todd Murphy and photographer L.E. Baskow went along on the trip to learn about Mercy Corps’ work in the region. Daily reports will appear on the Web sites and www.localnews Murphy and Baskow will wrap up the trip with stories and photos in Friday’s Tribune. — Tribune staff

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