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At a loss for words

I am at a loss for words… Describing my experience in New Orleans is nearly impossible. It was incredible, wonderful, eye-opening, educational, humbling, and for me, a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget. Our adventure was not merely a trip, it was a life experience. I was able to meet and listen to people who call New Orleans home, they loved to tell us their stories and they loved to see a group of people who cared enough to listen. Dr. Anderson really showed us all that what is truly important is being empathetic and having the ability to understand where others are coming from and even learning from their experiences. When we open ourselves up to this, we are more able to help and make more responsible and thoughtful decisions.

I returned from Louisiana excited to tell me family and friends about my excursion and what I had learned and what I had seen. Not only did I learn a lot, but those who I relayed the stories to, did as well. In class lectures were an amazing way to introduce us to New Orleans, but being there in person seeing the effects of Katrina firsthand is something that can’t be beat. Some of the most memorable parts of the trip, were when we attended live music performances around town. The culture was so alive and the artists had such pride in the music they shared with everyone. Everyone danced, everyone sang, everyone was happier than they’d ever been before. It was enlightening.

Lastly, I quickly grew t love my classmates. Everyone was so kind, caring and friendly. This made the trip even better. We all had a wonderful time together. Even when times got tough, we all worked through it together and encouraged each other to keep going and that all our hard work was more than worth it. I am proud to say that I made an entirely new group of friends; we were a family. New Orleans brought so much into my life that I wasn’t expecting. If I could relive it, I would.

Whitney Plantation

Yesterday was quite an experience. We ventured to the Whitney Plantation and got a tour around the grounds. It was extremely eye opening. Although there were many sad moments while learning about the lives the slaves had to live, we all really enjoyed the tour. I learned more about slave history in the south than I ever  have before.

Crawfish!!!

At first, I was kind of scared to try crawfish; they are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. They turned out to be delicious! The kind people at Woodland plantation served us some awesome food. (We got to see their gators too!)

Another day at Woodlands trail!

We all pushed through our transects like superheroes today! It was awesome to see how quickly we’re all getting the hang of things. My group finished a transact and then teamed up with the other groups and we all worked together to get it done quick! It was a successful and very eventful day.

Woodlands Trail

Today was our first full day of work in the wetlands. We hacked our way through tons of BlackBerry and come upon some very beautiful areas of the forest while collecting data. It was very tough, but we conquered the day together.

Today’s adventure!

Today was awesome! We started bright and early by heading over to the New Orleans School of Cooking. Our host, Michael, walked is through cooking our own meals. My group created a wonderful carrot and coriander soup.

After cooking school, we all traveled to Woodlands trail where we began our first run at field work. It was a slow process, but I have confidence that we’ll grow and learn as we continue Our field work and gain practice.

First glimpse of French Quarter!

French quarter was amazing, to say the least. I’ll never forget walking out of the New Orleans history museum and straight  into an audience. Everyone had circled around a band, playing jazz and some blues.

Trip Expectations!

I am beyond excited to travel to New Orleans. I’m looking forward to meeting the locals and seeing how different the culture is. I have never been to Louisiana, so having the opportunity to attend this trip is a wonderful privilege. I can’t wait to get out and explore New Orleans!