Okay, I know it's technically Wednesday...but I'm posting Vol. 8 later today and because this is an ungodly early hour, I think we can count this as Tuesday's post. Anyway today's (OKAY, yesterday's...geez) topic is my 2011 Spring Break. I'm now booked to travel to New Orleans through WSU's Center for Civic Engagement. My good friend Amy convinced me to apply for the program, and we had our first meeting yesterday. And let me just say, I am PUMPED.
First of all, we'll be staying at a pretty nice Holiday Inn on the French Quarter, two blocks from Bourbon St. We will have activities planned Monday through Friday; volunteer and community outreach projects, parades, tours and lunches. One day we get to help rebuild a house through Habitat for Humanity that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Another day we will help create "green space" and take care of a large city park. On Friday, we will be going to the marshes and helping with the "clean-up of the clean-up" of the oil spill. That means that many native endangered plant species were displaced and/or destroyed by the clean-up effort, and we will need to remove the invasive species and re-plant the domestic ones.
Those all sound like so much fun. It's a great way to discover and experience the New Orleans culture while simultaneously lending a helping hand to the people down there. Another awesome thing will be the Thursday of the break. It's St. Patrick's Day, and according to our trip leader, it will be like Mardi Gras, Jr. He said there will be a huge parade, music, festivities, all on a route that goes directly past our hotel. ("Heads up for flying potatoes, the people on the floats try to peg tourists!") In addition, we have our nights free to explore the French Quarter, Bourbon St., and/or any other area of the city. I foresee a LOT of jazz clubs and jambalaya in my future!!!
One last thing I'm jazzed about (BAHAHA sorry, had to) for this trip, is there is a group tour where we go through the swamps and on a paddle boat getting an education about New Orleans. Then later that night, we will be touring a New Orleans cemetery (artistic and rustic, according to our trip leaders) and have the option of going on a real voodoo, ghost hunt that night.
Obviously, I have a lot to look forward to! I'm extremely lucky to have this opportunity and plan to take full advantage of every minute. I can't wait to have the best Spring Break ever down in N'awlins!