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From LA to LA

Posted from Camarillo, California, United States.

Being home for these past couple of weeks, has been a bittersweet experience for me. While it has been nice to sleep in past 7 AM and go to bed before 1 AM, I miss the woodlands, the French Quarter, the people of New Orleans, I even miss the blackberry and the adrenaline rush from hacking it all down with a machete. Hearing about this trip I heard of the difficulties I would face, how hard I would work, but most importantly, the sense of accomplishment I would feel walking away from New Orleans. But being here now, words could never express how truly impactful this trip was to me. I loved that it was so much more than touring the city and learning about what can be done, instead, we went out and did it.

Three to four transects, each 100 meters long, through blackberry taller than me, all in one day… working hard through the literal blood, sweat and tears… not for any other reason other than the shear will to help the people of New Orleans that flowed through us all. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the city and feel such passion for the injustice these people face. Because of this adventure of a life time, my eyes were opened to new perspectives and new experiences I never thought possible. As someone who loves the outdoors, being at the Woodlands Conservancy was right up my alley. But it was not just about being in nature that made this trip so amazing, it was the impact and the service that we provided while in New Orleans, in addition to the connections to the people made along the way.

My life has been forever changed, and just within the short few weeks being home, I have shared the stories of the New Orleans people, made a map in GIS of Hurricane Katrina and the levees, and showed others the amazing photos taken along our journey, all in the hopes of passing my love for New Orleans on to others. This trip was an experience of a lifetime and I truly feel so grateful for the opportunity to go with such an amazing professor and amazing classmates. Thank you to everyone who made this adventure not only possible but an incredible memory I will always treasure as a Voodoo Doll.

Rock n’ Bowl

On Thursday evening we went to Rock n’ Bowl. It was one of our favorite places visited on this trip. After bowling, we all went towards the dance floor and danced with each other while the band played Zydeco music.

A few minutes passed by and a gentleman asked me, Juliana, to dance. I told him that I didn’t know how to dance well to Zydeco music and he decided to teach me how. It was so much fun!

As we began to leave Rock n’ Bowl for the night, the man that taught Juliana how to dance, Dave Naccari, stopped us all before we left. He grouped us up and played a few songs for us to sing together on his ukulele. He then gave us each his cd for free. Meeting Dave was a pleasure and made for the perfect ending to our night!

Places like Rock n’ Bowl and people like Dave are what make New Orleans so enjoyable to be in.

To see us signing with Dave, follow the link below!

Carrot and Corinader Soup

Posted from Austin, Texas, United States.

We visited the New Orleans School of Cooking where Micheal taught us about buying local foods on a tight budget. Our group, Juliana, Alexis and Aryana, decided to create a soup. After speaking to the local farmers market vendors, we discovered the recipe for carrot and coriander soup. It was a simple and affordable (under $20) meal that turned out to be quite delicious.

Our recipe called for common ingredients like carrots, coriander, vegetable broth, potatoes and onion. After chopping the vegetables; we sauteed the onions with some garlic, added the chopped potatoes to soften them, added the vegetable broth along with the carrots and coriander. We also added salt, pepper, paprika, and Cajun seasoning for taste. We allowed for the pot to boil until carrots were soft before using an emulsifier to puree the mix. We then let it simmer for 20 minutes before serving with a touch of coriander on top.


It was a messy process that left us feeling satisfied and proud of our creation. We are all grateful for Micheal and the School of Cooking and the experience they have provided us. It left us all with more appreciation for the food and culture of New Orleans.


To make this on your own follow this link that will walk you through step by step on how to make this delicious meal!