From LA to LA

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.

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