Director of Service-Learning
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
New Orleans - Spring Break 2012
We started our trip on Sunday and arrived that night; we immediately left for the French Quarter and explored Bourbon Street which was surprisingly bumping. The next day we helped with general upkeep at Rescue Ranch, which is run by superwoman Lori who was a prominent volunteer in horse and cattle rescue after Hurricane Katrina and has expanded her services in providing an afterschool program for at risk children who benefit from therapeutic riding. That night we took the historic street car through magnificent neighborhoods with classic southern architecture. On Tuesday we cleaned up after a cultural festival at the Isleño Heritage Museum where we learned, from Cecile the wife of an Isleño, about the Spaniards who came from the Canary Islands and settled in Belle Chasse. That night, we went out to a Mediterranean restaurant and bonded by playing trust-building games. On Wednesday we had a totally different experience when we helped sort Mardi Gras beads that are collected after parades and resold to cut down on imports and waste. We worked at ARC, a distinctively New Orleanian business, which employs mentally disabled people that we made great connections with. Later, we went to Jackson Square where we explored the shops, including an authentic cigar store where we were given an intimate tour of the cigar-making process. But, the highlight of the night was splitting a delicious, traditional Cajun meal at the Gumbo Shop. Our last of day of service was at St. John Berchman’s Orphanage that is now used as a nursery run by nuns. After painting the majority of the basement, we were given a tour by the housekeeper who told us a lot about what happened after the hurricane and about the orphanage. That night we enjoyed the live music of Bourbon Street and Frenchmen’s Street. Although it was pouring rain and there was a brief power outage, we thoroughly enjoyed our last night. On Friday, we ate breakfast at Lil’ Dizzy’s which is a popular local joint and afterwards checked out an above-ground cemetery and the Lower Ninth Ward. We headed home and planned future reunions because enjoyed each other’s company so much.
It was sooooooooooooooooooooo fun.