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Morgan Park Academy New Orleans

February 17, 2020

Today was a long, but exciting day. We landed in New Orleans about 10am and headed to a local park to have lunch and orientation. We saw the Tree of Life, which is the oldest tree in the city. Our favorite part of the day was heading to the French Quarter and watching the street performers. We bought souvenirs and had delicious beignets at Cafe du Monde. Our dinner consisted of traditional New Orleans cuisine, Gumbo, Jambalaya, seafood etouffee, and bread pudding. We all got settled into our cabins, made our beds, and plan on making it an early night.

-Kristen, Garyelle, Madalyn, and Kennedy

February 18, 2020

We woke up bright and early, and ate a breakfast, and headed out at 8:15 for a big day.

We hopped in our two big vans, and drove to City Park – one of the biggest urban parks in the United States. We did some team building exercises like a low ropes course, and learned to work together, build each other up, and celebrate each others’ strengths. We even got to see an alligator (that had been trapped by some local gator trappers).
After that, we had a delicious lunch that we made all by ourselves. Our afternoon was spent by doing service work. We shoveled mulch into wheelbarrows, and made a path for hikers that enjoy City Park. A “highlight” was hiking to the highest point in New Orleans – a 43 foot hike!

After a challenging but rewarding service day, we hopped back in the vans for dinner at Dat Dog. We even tried alligator sausage (verdict – reviews are mixed on the alligator sausage)! We are looking forward to more tours tomorrow at Mardi Gras World and the Whitney Plantation.

-Maddie, Jaunita, Nayia and Delia

February 19, 2020

We started the day with our morning routine of breakfast and football. We got into our vans and headed out to Mardi Gras World.  We learned they make over one thousand floats a year. They also reuse and repurpose to save money and time. The float artists are unbelievably creative and talented. After our tour, we had a break in city park and looked at all of the beautiful statues and sculptures. Once we were done with the park, our appetite was satisfied by eating some amazing New Orleans style po’ boys!

We then set out to the Whitney Plantation. We learned about how inhumane these innocent people were treated and how our future has dramatically changed because of their sacrifices and courage. It was a very eye opening experience and we feel very grateful to have the lives and education we have now. After our reflection, we came back and celebrated Kristen’s Birthday with a pizza party. It was a long but an enlightening day!
– Stephen, Varun, Zuri, and Max

February 20, 2020

We woke up and played uno and football. We got in the van and drove to the Green Light Project. Some of us painted rain barrels and some of us installed energy high efficiency light bulbs in Amanda and Heline’s houses. We got to learn a lot about how to install lights and work together! We also learned a lot about the energy efficient lightbulbs. We painted the rain barrels to help prevent New Orleans from sinking, and so they would look nice and match people’s backyards. We had lunch at a park. Then we drove to the swamp tour! Our tour took us on a boat through areas of the swamp. We saw boars, raccoons, birds, a fat spider, and other interesting animals. We also saw some swamp grass that looked that looked like a carpet. It was a little cold and rainy, but still fun. At dinner, we ate some good fries, good wraps, good shrimp, and good crawfish! We met a local New Orleans man who gave a talk about confidence and embracing diversity. Overall, this whole experience has been extradorinary and exhilarating!

-Alex, Miles, Josiah, Trinton, Justin, and Nigel