NOLA 2023 Reflection

Before I came on the NOLA trip I did not know what to expect. I was nervous but excited knowing I would be traveling to a new state to help out the community as an environmental scientist. Reflecting now after those 10 days have ended I can say it was one of the most challenging but fulfilling experiences I have had so far. It was rough as we were outside for the majority of the time no matter if it was raining, hot, humid, or cold because we were there to get as much restoration done on limited time. This trip was fast paced but I enjoyed seeing all the places we saw and learning about New Orleans culture, it’s food and it’s people. Everyone was so welcoming and took the time to tell us their story and thanked us for the work we provided for them.

The part of the trip that really tested me physically was when we did transects at Woodlands preserve. I was not prepared at all for that type of work. It was definitely an eye opening experience as we had to go through bushes and bushes of blackberry vegetation covered in thorns. Being out there until the sun set was very draining especially when the mosquitos would come out in the evening. I have never been bitten by that many mosquitos ever. But even after all that there were times when I would stop what I was doing and I would just take in the moment and appreciate the nature around me. It really grounded me and gave me the motivation to keep on going knowing that the work I was doing was going to benefit this area for many years to come. I’m really thankful I decided to come on this trip as this is my last semester here at CSUCI. I learned so much and I will definitely take these experiences with me after I graduate and in my future career.

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