Friday, March 13, 2009

Baylor Civil Rights Tour, Group #2, Mar-13th

Ahh…Naw’lins (New Orleans ☺)! What a day it has been! The Baylor Civil Rights Tour arrived in Louisiana this evening as we head into the final leg of our trip. We left Montgomery, Alabama this morning and moved west through Mississippi, hugging the Gulf Coast

During the bus ride, our individual groups were brainstorming possible questions that we could ask the Tulane University panel with issues concerning Katrina, race, rebuilding, etc:

What approach was the new governor, Bobby Jindal, taking towards rebuilding? Has the predicted demographic change surfaced after Katrina with many African-Americans resettling in different states and being replaced Hispanics laborers coming in through government contractors, etc.? How have other minority groups been affected by Katrina? I am reminded of the last question by the election of the first Vietnamese Congressman, Joseph Ahn Cao of Louisiana, who is a Baylor Alum I might add.

Unfortunately, we had a minor accident on the road that set us back an hour or two and we missed our panel discussion! I was really looking forward to the panel! But alas, we couldn’t.

But all was not lost. One of Karin’s old friends gave us a tour of New Orleans. It was a worthwhile experience to see the wide diversity in New Orleans and how parts of the city were picking up from the Hurricane. The French/Colonial architecture was sometimes especially beautiful. There certainly has been progress, but much more needs to be done because some areas still are in pretty bad shape (lower ninth ward) or destroyed altogether.

For dinner we went to a Remoulade’s, a Cajun restaurant, to taste the local food. Woo-wee! One of the best things about Lousiana is the cuisine, and it certainly did not disappoint. Gumbo, jambalaya, meat pies, the best seafood…definitely some good stuff.

Our group split up after that and walked through the French Quarter. The nightlife was certainly vibrant and one can only imagine what happens during Mardi Gras or St. Patrick’s Day. There were many different establishments, some of questionable nature, but nonetheless offering something for mostly everyone. The mix of crowds, music, food, and both affluence and want gave this part of Naw’lins a flavor all its own.

Now we’re on the bus and heading back to Slidell, LA to rest up for the night as I type this. We’ll need rest because tomorrow we’ll be working with Katrina Corps on some rebuilding projects. Until next time!


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