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Day 11 Gumbo

Last day of NOLA was bittersweet.  I woke up early and attended an ecumenical church service with Sean and Dr. A.  It was held at Lake View Funeral home and the Zion Harmonizers were the musical guests.  It was a very different experience because the whole service seemed to evolve around the gospel music; the pastor said a few words and discussed scripture for a short while. The Zion Harmonizers were also a sight to see. The band consisted of 7 members and they were very passionate about their music. They have been around for 77 years and traveled all over the world to preform. This year they will play/sing in the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

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One of the lead singers from the Zion Harmonizers

After the service we went back to the hotel and we all entered our data from our transects the past few days while it steadily rained outside.  We did not quite finish but we got a lot done.
At 11:30 a.m. we had a de-brief with Dr. A, John, Tom & Diana and discussed the highlights of our trip. We then headed out to the French Quarter and had around four hours to mill around. I was with Dulce, Aspen, Patrick & Sean. We ate lunch at The Gazebo Cafe and walked around to different shops. One of the most unique parts of our day was when we ran into the Easter parade. I caught a carrot and a handful of beads. I also had the best beignet I have ever tasted from Café Beignet. We bought them and took them over to the river to eat.

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Aspen, Dulce, Patrick, Sean & Tearney

On a final note, this trip was an unforgettable experience.  I learned so much about the diversity that runs through the viens of the city.  New Orleans is unique in its people, cultures, foods and music. I was able to gain a better appreciation for local artists and cultural foods. All of the aspects mentioned are the Gumbo (to quote Dr. A) that makes NOLA so special.
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 When reflecting on our main mission, I felt that I learned much more then expected about wetland restoration, the degradation brought upon them by Katrina and the ways we can help to educate others about the wetlands themselves. The service we did in regards to farming and planting was eye opening in the sense that it doesn’t take many people to make make a difference or to show others that growing your own food is valuable in the areas they are living in. I hope that one day I will be able to go back to NOLA and continue to assist people who are in need of a friendly helping hand.

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