Today breakfast was at 7 (and for some of us we tried grits for the first time, they’re not bad) and then after breakfast we made sandwiches to take for lunch and left Camp Restore by 8:20. We headed to Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center where we worked with Friends of Lafitte Greenway. During this time we weeded invasive species like Johnson Grass and Cattails. A couple of us even tried the cattails, apparently they taste like cucumbers.
After we finished weeding we moved on to eat lunch and then we got a tour of the French Quarter. This was an incredible tour, the tour guide was so knowledgable about New Orleans and he was a ton of fun to listen too. We toured with Northeaster Illinois University starting around 2 and we learned about the tricentennial (New Orleans is officially 300 years old), we got to stand along the Mississippi River and learn a bit about the history of the French coming in to settle. We learned about how Louisiana celebrates General Andrew Jackson but not President Andrew Jackson which is why they’ve still got General Andrew Jackson’s statue up. During the tour one of the fun things we were able to see was a proposal and she said yes!
After the tour we went in the little tourist shops to buy souvenirs. We went back to Camp Restore early because on this night five of our volunteers had to help with dinner. After dinner we cleaned up and then headed to Freezy Street to get some fresh rolled ice cream. As a group we parked in a spot where we probably shouldn’t have but hoped beyond hope that we were going to be okay and not get towed. After about 30 minutes of getting our ice cream we walked outside and Vanna White was no longer with us. We all collectively came together and laughed and joked and made light of the situation. It was really a test of how strong we can all be in a crisis and trip leader Jackie handled it very professionally.
And now today’s favorite moments:
Clare: “My favorite part was trying a cattail while removing them today!”
Ann: “Learning about how the removal of statues has been effecting New Orleans and about how people can do good things but still at there core be bad people.”
Olivia: “Watching how everyone found different strengths in what they were doing throughout the day.”
Madison: “I loved being able to get a sense of the history behind New Orleans during our tour guide along with getting a feel for how we can better preserve the environment for the community with things like the Lafitte Greenway! (Along with the amazing pack lunches we prepared of course, especially banana pbjs!)”
Jackie: “I loved the Lafitte Greenway! I love how a group of dedicated people committed themselves to turn a deserted former canal/railway into a beautiful and safe community space connecting areas of the city. I also loved learning more about the history of New Orleans. Our tour guide was so knowledgeable and passionate I could have listened for hours!”
Emily W.: “It has been awesome getting to explore the French Quarter and get a tour that explained some of the history. I have loved getting to know this city so far and giving back to the community.”
Karis: “Loved learned about the history New Orleans through the tour and getting to tour more of the French Quarter.”
Emily T.: “The history of New Orleans was my favorite part. I loved learning about the whys and hows of everything that’s happened in New Orleans and just enjoying the moment was great.”
Kalee: “I loved seeing the community center and everything they had to offer, such as walking pathways, outdoor workout center, workout classes, playgrounds, computer lab, and gardens. So many great ways to bring the community together!”
Natasha: “Learning about the history of New Orleans and the French Quarter after being able to go through the French Quarter with no background before. I think it was interesting to have some sort of context heading into the French Quarter tour.”