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A Trip to Remember

Posted from Cerritos, California, United States.

Before leaving for the trip, our class explored some of the history of New Orleans, culture of Louisiana, and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. But actually being in New Orleans, experiencing that culture, and actually seeing the lingering devastation spurred by Hurricane Katrina was nothing I expected to experience so intensely. Several things touched me most deeply; speaking with locals who experienced Katrina and reliving their stories, speaking with professors who care so much about their community, hearing about the lawsuits pushing big oil companies to clean up and restore the wetlands, and reporters who wrote about the storm/environmental issues/political milieu of New Orleans.

In addition to all these individual learning experiences, we were able to do hands on work to directly help the cause. I learned so much trudging through the swamp, identifying native and invasive plants, collecting data, learning to work with different teams, and overcoming many types of discomforts.

I left New Orleans with my eyes opened to the issues our friends there face…and the politics that go along hand in hand with those issues. I am now aware of the problems. Hopefully, I will be able to make others aware too by fostering education, engaging in more research, and taking political actions. I thank CSUCI and Dr. Anderson for the amazing opportunity to help, be involved, and to learn about this fragile area and its amazing culture and history.

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I learned how to cook a creole tomato sauce over shrimp and rice.

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Learning from the great Dr. Steve Nelson from Tulane University about the levee system in New Orleans.

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Enjoying a wonderful evening at Woodlands Plantation.

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And I got to meet the amazing trumpeter Irvin Mayfield!

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