5 posts

A brief reflection

I came into this trip not really knowing what to expect. I’ve heard nothing but amazing this about this trip, and I was so excited to go on it. I learned so many things and life lessons from this trip. Any expectation I had was beyond surpassed. The days spent at Woodlands were long, and tiring, but very rewarding. When feeling worn out or tired, all I had to do was look around (past all the blackberry) and see all the green, and that was enough to keep me going.Our days at Woodlands were spent surveying the area. We set up transects, and took count of native and invasive species. We got to see armadillos, snakes, turtles and even an alligator! Although the mosquitos were pretty bad, bug spray was there to save the day.The days we weren’t at Woodlands, we helped out planting food gardens. Our first garden was for our friend Carol, and the second was for Capstone Community Gardens. We were able to spend time in the French Quarter being able to experience the full culture of New Orleans. We got to see the Mardi Gras Indians, parades, and local musicians. All of these experiences were so amazing. We were able to fully dive into Louisiana culture in 10 days. While sitting on the plane ride home, I tried to pick my favorite part of the trip, and I honestly couldn’t. Each day was an adventure within itself. The days were long and often dirty. We sweat, got attacked by bugs, and got pretty dirty, but it was all worth it in the end. I learned many things on this trip, and will forever be grateful for the friendships that were made. Its hard to express how much fun the past 10 days have been. I now know what it is like to miss New Orleans.

New Orleans School of Cooking

On Saturday, we spent our morning at the New Orleans School of Cooking. We had five groups of three people (appetizer, salad, side dish, entree and desert). Each group had the freedom to decide what they were going to make. After groups were assigned, we headed off to the local farmers market to shop for our ingredients. This allowed us to help support local farmers and learn about the ingredients we were going to be using. The process was guided by our friend Michael from the cooking school. He helped guide us on how to cook to our best ability. The meal making process taught us all new things, which we can take home and use in our own kitchens.Our meal consisted of bruschetta as an appetizer, followed by a salad. The main meal consisted of crab and shrimp gumbo, served with potato salad. To end the meal, we had strawberry crepes for desert. The cooking school was an unforgettable experience. We were able to learn about local produce, support local farmers, and learn how to cook traditional New Orleans food!

Live music

It is currently day two, and all of the musicians we’ve heard have been so amazing! It was so exiting walking down the streets and seeing a small band or one person simply playing a violin. It is evident that they are playing because they love what they are doing, which is truly heart warming to see. The music brings life to the city and all the people walking by. The people of New Orleans have such a beautiful appreciation for music, I have never seen anything like it coming from a city. There is so much love and joy coming from them that radiates to the audience. Seeing young children dancing to adults singing along to music they have never heard. I ended my day by sitting in a cafe, eating beignets, and listening to an amazing guitar player. Definitely excited to see more as the days go by!

Bright-eyed and bushy tailed.

Today is finally the day! As I type this at 3am there are all sorts of emotions going on. The excitement is taking over the feeling of not getting much sleep, which I’m hoping will last me.

I’m excited to start this adventure! I have never been to New Orleans, or anywhere in the South. I have heard so many amazing things about the culture, the food and jazz music, and can’t wait to witness it myself. I’m particularly interested in seeing how hurricane Katrina affected the environment, and learning what we can do to help!