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Lila Marcial-Hernandez 10 posts

Day nine: NOJO

We had the most amazing experience listening to the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. It’s one thing to experience the music but another to be born into it, and watching this band perform was absolutely amazing and it showed

me that difference. I absolutely loved watching the orchestra play tonight.

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Day eight: southern comfort

We spent the night at Woodlands Plantation and in the morning had a tour of the grounds. We learned that the house we stayed in is the one featured in the Southern Comfort whiskey label. After a delicious breakfast, we had a tour of the grounds, learned some history, and fed some alligators.
In the evening we enjoyed the Chinese Lights festival in the New Orleans botanical gardens.

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Day seven: we made a garden!

We worked on making a community garden which was most if our day. Afterwards we drove to the southernmost point of Louisiana, where the Gulf of Mexico is close to meeting with the Mississippi. We noticed the wetland loss where freshwater is turning brackish as salt water moves in from the gulf. As a result of the change in water consistency and content, wetlands and cypress forests have seen drastic change and damage. Afterwards, we had a delicious crawfish boil at Woodlands Plantation, which was absolutely delicious (and spicy).

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Day six: capstone

We had a long day of helping the Capstone community through various different activities. I helped first by de-weeding a small plot and planted a few small plants like kale and lettuce. Afterwards we helped with clearing out a plot of land from all of the vegetation that had overgrown. This was challenging because of how thick the weeds had grown in. It took quite a while to complete this task. Once finished we also helped with the cleaning of clay rocks that the the man in charge of the organization would use for his aquaculture system that he had set up the the side of his building.  Once we left Capstone, we went to talk to a lawyer about the pending lawsuit that was filed against the oil and gas business for their part in the damage that they played through their actions. Afterwards, we went to discuss the flooding with an environmental editor to discuss his involvement and experience of hurricane Katrina. It’s very interesting to see and hear how different people’s opinions are of the ‘who, what, when, where, why, and how things happened during that time.

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Day five: Is that a thorn or a cut?

We managed to get through four transects for our vegetation surveys. The first three went fairly well and as we moved further into the trail and further into the transect we saw less densely packed black berry and that meant less thorns for us to deal with. For our fourth and final transect we ended up dealing with 30+ meters worth of blac berry bush and the only way was through it,
so naturally we solidified our machete skills. On the bright side, we found a small patch of wild strawberries(picture)!

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Day three

We learned how to cook calas, which is a desert that was sold by slaves in an attempt to buy their freedom back. We definitely had a great meal today.

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This is Jambalaya, and it was an amazing meal that we had throughout a five course meal.

Day two: Levee Tour

We had a great tour of the levee system and the construction failures that led to the flooding. We also got a flat tire on our way to the last levee sight, which gave us all an opportunity to learn how to change a flat tire.

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Dr. Sean Anderson taking pictures on the levee wall that runs along the canal that connects the Mississippi River with Lake Ponchartrain

My first day in NOLA

I had such an amazing time today. We got to go on a beautiful walk along the Jean Lafitte National Park and we saw six alligators! We also had time to explore the French Quarter and enjoyed some delicious southern cooking. It has definitely been a long and tiring day of travel and exploration, but it has been completely worth it. I can’t wait to see what more adventures the next 10 days will bring us.

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We visited the Barataria Preserve of the Jean Lafitte National Park