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WIT Travel in New Orleans- Day 2

- Christina

 

From March 23-30 I traveled with a group called WIT Travel to New Orleans. Two other high schoolers and me planned the trip with the goal of promoting the idea of teenagers everywhere making volunteering part of their travels. Below is my blog from day 2, more will be posted over the course of the week. 

     Even though it’s my second day here, I feel such a strong sense of community. One of the first parts of our morning involved visiting a Baptist Church for the Southern gospel experience. It was my second time there, but I forgot how incredible it was. People wore bright spring colors, danced in the aisles, and greeted each other with huge smiles and warm “good morning!”s. I didn’t know any of the congregation member’s names, but just through smiling and singing along with them I felt so connected.

Later, one of the craziest events of the day happened when Ms. H and I stumbled upon an outdoor jazz festival in Armstrong Park. We ended up joining a huge crowd of people dancing, swaying, clapping, and stomping to a live jazz band. I’m not a great dancer- my family often makes fun of my clumsiness and lack of grace- but that didn’t matter. I was by far- I mean, by far- not the best dancer there, and I was also not the worst. No one cared, though. People just wanted everyone to move and enjoy the music. By the end, I ended up dancing without any self-consciousness, completely absorbed in the music and the energy of the crowd. It was the quintessential New Orleans experience- spontaneous, spirited, musical, and entirely unique.

We finished the night with a dinner with our Saint Bernard Project friends Adrian, Catherine, and Courtenay. Last year, we worked on rebuilding Courtenay’s home, and after dinner she invited us to her house to try crawfish, turkey necks, and pigs’ feet. We were a little nervous, but Courtenay insisted that we couldn’t leave New Orleans without trying crawfish. While I’m still not sold on the pigs’ feet, the crawfish were great, and the fact that Courtenay was so excited to share one of her favorite Nola traditions with us made the experience ten times more fun. I’m so thankful for all of the awesome people we have already met, and so excited to meet more.

 

Ms. H and me at the jazz festival

 

Check out a short clip of the festival here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KBOS3egbB8

To learn more about our trip, visit facebook.com/WIT.Travel or follow WIT_Travel on Instagram and twitter.

 

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