Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Louisiana is humid.

Hello, I'm home!
 Technically I arrived at the airport late on Saturday night, but the difference is that now I'm settled in and feeling cozy.  The weather here seems so much more pleasant than when I left, probably because Louisiana was so oppressively hot, and HUMID!
But humidity and all, I had such an awesome time in New Orleans last week!  It was a great experience, and the fact that some of my friends were there with me made it even better.  For most of our working days, we started building a garden for an Edible Schoolyard (you can read a bit more about Edible Schoolyards here).  There was a lot of digging, hauling and sweating involved, but we ended up making some really good progress.
I forgot to take a before picture of the worksite, but here's what we did with it:

This area will become the main entrance to the school.

We dug those bricks out of a demolished portion of the sidewalk right outside the school.

Not finished by any means, but it's a good start.  The next group that goes to the schoolyard will probably be working on the actual garden, planting flowers, herbs, shrubs and such.
On one of our work days we volunteered at an organization called Green Light New Orleans, installing energy-efficient lightbulbs in people's homes.  That was a fun and surprisingly fulfilling job, partly because we actually got to interact a lot with locals, and partly because the houses were air-conditioned.
Green Light New Orleans gave us these pins.

I think they're kind of cool, I wonder who designed them.

When we weren't working, my group and I had fun running around and exploring the city.   
We visited so many amazing places!  My favorite days were the ones where we walked around in the French Quarter.  It was loud and busy, but really fun.  There were so many living statues, artists, and street musicians/performers, it was like living in an enormous art show.  With a soundtrack.

It was UNBELIEVABLE how still this guy was standing.

I wish I could have gotten some better pictures of all the lovely terrace railings.

It was like a giant party all the time, everywhere!

Blinged-out bike! 

Riverboat on the Mississippi.

Adorable house, love the pink. <3
Oh, and did I mention how great the food was?  You're missing out.  My favorite was the beignets from CafĂ© Du Monde.  So much crispy, warm, sugary goodness.

It also happened to be Pride Week, and there was a concert going on one of the days we were in the French Quarter.

We also visited the French Market, where I bought a very New Orleans-y dress (pictures later), a voodoo museum, the Louisiana State Museum's historical Presbytere building, went on a cemetery tour, and took a trip to Meyer the Hatter (largest hat shop in the south!).  I found a yellow beret.

No surprise that after all that, I was DEAD tired when I got home.  I may or may not have slept until about 1:30 in the afternoon the morning after I got back.  I have so much more to say about the trip, but there isn't time for the half of it.  For now I'll just say that if you haven't been there already, start planning a trip very soon (possibly in October when the weather will be cooler...).  New Orleans is such a fun, crazy, inspiring and thoroughly alive city, and it would be a shame for anyone to miss out.

See you soon. :)

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