Gulf Coast Beginnings

Dear Blog Readers

The last 48 hours have been a combinatinon of exciting, hectic, eye-opening, and really fun.   Lets recap.

The group met outside of Farinon at 4 am Sunday morning.  Although everyone was tired from a long night of packing…. there was a silent confidence amongst the group that this trip was going to be legendary. After a luxurious flight to Houston texas (still find it funny how everyone says “yall” in Texas) we crammed onto an airplane the size of a bathroom stall on our way to Mississippi.  I remember in 2nd grade being taught how to spell Mississippi with that rthymic letter song. (M.. I-s-s…. I-s-s….I-pp-I)  Never thoguht I’d make it down here though. 

After a quick check-in… as a group we set off on our first road trip to New Orleans…. or as the locals say…. “noorlands”. Shoutout to our group leader Liz who made reservations at a delicious Louisiana-style restaurant and let the rest of us gallavant around New Orelans while she waited in line for our table.  The majority of us decided to take a walk down the infamous Bourbon street.  Even though I had heard the stories and rumors…… nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see.  Despite it being 5:30 pm on a Sunday…. you would have thought it was a saturday night summer night.  Adults partying all over the street, strip clubs at every corner, and people in absurd Mardi Gras costumes willing to take pictures with locals.  Beads wrapped around everyones neck and an alcoholic beverage in every hand. As Rocco said best “you can just smell sin in the air”.  Nonethless it was a great experience.  It definitely was something I wanted to see once in my life with my own eyes.

After a quick tour of the party life in New Orelans… it was time to enjoy the finer side of down south.  The restauraunt was ABSOLUTELY delicious.  I could not have dreamed of a more enjoyable meal as I was able to sample Louisiana style Crawfish, shrimp, seafood, and jumbolaya. with all due respect to Lower Farinon Chicken Fritters…. this food was in a league of its own.  After dinner we toured the city as a group and were able to see historical landmarks and witness beautiful scenery out across the Mississippi River.  Despite our flight being pushed back forcing us to have an extremely hectic day rushing around, I still think the decision to go into New Orleans was beyond well-worth it.  Great great experience.

After a 6:45 wake up call the next day…. it was off to breakfast.  Not going to lie…. the food has certainly EXCEEDED expecatiosn thus far (we will see if I’m still saying the same thign on day 4 or 5).  After heading to the worksite… we encountered our project for the week.  At first, when we were told that the house was 90% completed, I was disapointed and thought that there wasn’t going to be much to do.  However, after taking one walk through the house, I would soon realize how much was still left to be done.  I think it finally “hit me” when the homeowner arrived to greet us and provide supplies that this was actually real life.  This poor man and family lost everything and 5 years later is still in the process of gaining it back.  Hopefully… we can all do our part to contribute and help him/his family get back on track.

blog confession:  The group doesn’t know this yet… but I have the “handy” skills of a 5 year old.  Despite being a 22 year old male… I still am unable to correctly turn on an oven, boil water, or cook anything besides Hot Pockets.  But… we don’t need to share that information with Team Gulf Coast just yet.  As the team builder and one of the only students on this trip with a Y chromosome… I need to breathe confience.  I know my squad looks to me for guidance — specifically when it comes to tools and manual labor. lol. nonethless everyone seemed to work really hard today and we seem to really be clicking as a group.  Need to give another shoutout to Megan… who apparently minors in woodshop at Lafayette. absolutely incredible job today.

Overall… I really couldn’t have asked for a better 48 hour start to this trip.  It seems like we have a great group and I am truly looking foward to forming new friendships and learning more about my peers.  I already have gotten close with people I hardly knew last week…. which is great  I signed up on this trip because I wanted to give back to the less fortunate and I believed that this was going to be such a rewarding experience.  Thus far… mission accomplished.

One Reply to “Gulf Coast Beginnings”

  1. Wow! This post brings back tons of memories of my ASB Trip to the Gulf Coast…especially the food! I’m so glad you’re having a positive experience. I think you’ll return to Lafayette with a few more “handy” skills AND some great new friendships. We also hope the team will come to a better understanding of all the issues *still* surrounding the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina. Keep up the great work!

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