By Marissa Morrissette
Vice President of Reality Check
This year, we started off our trip with two days of cultural experiences. We arrived safely in New Orleans around 10:00 a.m., looking forward to the days ahead. After stuffing the vans to the rim, we made our way to the United Saints Recovery Project. After arriving, we were greeted by volunteer coordinator Jen, who showed us around the area. We were eager to unpack and head out and explore.
We went to lunch and noticed the aftermath of Mardi Gras along the way. We noticed all of the colorful beads hanging from the trees and along the roads. Some of the students went tree to tree to gather some of the authentic New Orleans beads. If that doesn’t scream tourist, we don’t know what does. After accessorizing, we headed back to our apartments to relax and get ready for the night.
We got to experience a totally different culture when we had to take a street car to Bourbon Street. The streets of Bourbon were lit up and full of energy. Some students tried the local cuisine while others experienced the local artisans.
Day 2 started off early as we got in the vans and headed toward the swamps. We had a swamp tour planned at Jean Lafittes, a well-known tour around the area. We stopped for a quick breakfast and got on our boat! Our captain, Dave, had a wealth of knowledge to share with us and surprised us with a baby alligator that we got to all hold. Some were a little more surprised than others when one of our advisers booked it to the other side of the boat after seeing it.
We finished off the day walking the streets of the French Quarter on a Ghost and Vampire Tour. This tour took us to many different locations where Philip, the tour guide, explained the historical ghost and vampire stories attracted to them.