I can’t believe New Orleans is less than a week away! I’m nervous, excited and full of food! In case you haven’t guessed, in partial preparation for the trip, food has played a massive role in the process. But there have been many classes, events and experiments that have taken place in the past few months that have helped build the excitement and anticipation that is my current status.

From the classes with Tanya and Pascal, I learned about the social, cultural, historical, political, economic and environmental issues that are inextricably linked to the study of New Orleans leading up to the disaster’s and the extremely slow recovery. I learned that when a group of excited people gather and brainstorm ways to raise funds the outcome is generally either delicious and/or successful both on a monetary and human level (both the grilled cheese and the cupcakes are representations of our collective, tasty success). Our fundraising initiative indicated our ability to work together as a team towards a common goal, which I believe was a great way to prepare for our upcoming work and experience in New Orleans. I have also been watching the new season of Treme, which is, from my experience in CINT 912 thus far, an accurate, compelling and highly relevant projection of New Orleans and its inhabitants one year after Hurricane Katrina (everybody please watch this show!). Lastly, in preparation for the trip I have attempted to cook Southern food on various occasions (see fried okra). I intend to have an epic BBQ upon our return from New Orleans (hopefully with some real inspiration from the city and experience) to reflect upon the trip and share my experience with others…wait for it!

While listening to some Dr. John, I have just finished reading the new blog entries from group 1 (amazing!). Currently I am staring at my empty suitcase and trying to fight off a sickness that somehow knew I should get sick before the trip. And so I am grateful for that and for the fact that I will be joining a group of amazing people and hopefully acquiring many new friends in New Orleans, less than a week from now!!!

So I have my work gloves, and just now, half a suitcase filled with candy ready to go! See you in NOLA!