Category Archives: NewOrleans15

New Orleans – Thursday, 4/2/15

Today was such a great day of learning and even more fun! We started off the morning by going to the famous World War II museum. It is the top visit in all of New Orleans, the # 4 museum in the US, and #11 in the entire world. Dr. Hedges told us that the reason the trip happened is because she wanted to go to the museum! It was an eye opening experience for all of us, and we were truly able to see the sacrifice that was required of so many to save us in that war. Many of us left with tears in our eyes reflecting on what it must have been like.

After we grabbed a quick lunch, we walked over to the New Orleans aquarium. It was cool to see all the different fish they have there, especially the ones that are specific to the Mississippi. We also got to watch a 4D film about sharks and why they shouldn’t be anything we are afraid of.

Next, we headed back to the hotel to change and get ready for dinner. While we originally thought we would have around an hour in the room, we ended up running behind schedule and we were racing (literally) to get back to the hotel and change in fifteen minutes. It was frustrating in the moment, but we all laughed about it afterwards!

Dinner was on a riverboat cruise that took us up and down the river while eating dinner and enjoying some good jazz music. We were in the first group of people to eat a really good meal of pot roast and pork! After we ate we went up the top deck where we were just in time to catch the beautiful sunset over the skyline. By the time we had gotten some pictures and enjoyed the sights, a jazz band started playing. While most people were just sitting around, our group decided to start dancing and really get into the music! It set the tone for the rest of the night and eventually more and more people decided to join in and dance. The boat really was a ton of fun and a great way to spend our last night, and as Sam put it “it was 10 times better than I thought it would be!”

Lastly, we took a walk back to the hotel. Some people decided to ride a bicycle taxi to be quicker. When we got back we all met together for one final time to discuss the week and enjoy some letters from Mrs. Allen’s 3rd grade class. We went to bed really tired but really satisfied!

Austin Geter, 10th grade

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New Orleans – Wednesday, 4/1/15

Day 3 was yet another success! We started the day by heading out to spend lots of time in the French Quarter. We first visited the St. Louis Cathedral, which is the oldest Catholic Church in the US, and learned about the deep Catholic roots in New Orleans.
Next we headed to a New Orleans museum next door to the church dedicated to Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras. We were able to get a glimpse of the devastation Katrina caused and the way that the city was able to rebuild and enhance everything afterwards. The Mardi Grad portion was also interesting, because we could see the history and also the grandeur and spectacle of it all!

Next we toured the Andrew Jackson Museum, learning about his role in the battle of New Orleans. Of course we had to grab a picture in front of his statue as well!

After that, we walked across the street to the most anticipated stop of the trip – Café du Monde – with the world famous beignets!!! There was a long line, but it was well worth the wait! The beignets were delicious, and I think we all could have eaten several more! From there we headed to a house set up like the 1850’s, and we saw the style of the homes then.

Lunch was next, and the group split up into smaller groups for some time to look around the French Quarter more and to grab some grub before the next stop. By the time we were back together, we met at the Ursuline Convent. This convent has played a huge role in Louisiana’s history, including being used as a place to teach children in the beginning of the settlement and used as a medical facility to treat people in the war. It was cool to see how New Orleans has basically been built around the Catholic faith!

Lastly, we had a bit of time to go shopping and explore the city. Everyone went in smaller groups to visit the different local shops and we all had a fun time visiting the city on our own. We were also in small groups for dinner, so some went to a fun night of jazz and dance at a jazz festival, others went to Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co., and others to various restaurants.

When we all made it back to the hotel, we had a team meeting to discuss our day tomorrow. We had a devotion from Austin talking about the strength that God gives us and the light that we are able to share with the city of New Orleans because of it. We went to bed tired, but ready for tomorrow!

Austin Geter, 10th grade
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New Orleans – Tuesday, 3/31/15

Day two for the New Orleans team was a great day packed full of fun experiences! At the start of the morning, after filling up on hotel breakfast and coffee, we headed out to our first stop – the Jean Lafitte Air Boat Swamp Tours.

The group was split up amongst three boats and we drove out to the middle of the swamp at high speeds. From there, we got a close look at the life of the alligators in the swamp. One guide was brave enough to get out of the boat and walk towards an alligator, and although we were scared he was in danger, we learned that the gators are actually very peaceful and have gotten to know the guides. Each boat was surprised with a baby alligator that the tour guides brought with them and we were able hold them. Most were willing to hold them, but some (Ashley) shrieked after the tour guide pretended like the gator was jumping at her! It was super cool to see a different side to these creatures, and to ride fast through the rivers!

From there, we loaded up the buses and headed to lunch at one the best barbecue places in New Orleans! The food was super great, and the group was mostly just glad to fill up and drink some water.

Next we were off to tour the Chalmette Battlefield, where the armies fought against the British in the war in 1815. There was a cool plantation home set up there, and we were also able to watch boats go by on the Mississippi River. After walking through the cemetery there and seeing just how many people sacrificed their lives for our country in one place, we rode back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner.

On the walk over to the New Orleans School of Cooking, we got to see some of the French Quarter and get a good taste of the amazing architecture in the district. When we arrived at the school, we were seated in a room where there was a big home kitchen set up (think Food Network shows) and where our chef taught us how to make our dinner right in front of us. The menu consisted of corn and crab bisque, jambalaya, bananas foster, and pralines… It was absolutely DELICIOUS! If we are honest, the real reason we all came to New Orleans was for the yummy food!

Finally our long, rewarding day was over and we headed back to the hotel to debrief and sleep. The group was challenged in a devotion out of 1 Peter 2:9-10 from Alice, and we were reminded of how we could be the only Jesus that the people we encounter ever see. In light of Easter coming this Sunday, it was definitely a great reminder! We discussed some things for tomorrow and called it a night. It was a great day!

Austin Geter, 10th grade
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New Orleans – Monday, 3/30/15

What a great start to what will be a fantastic trip! The group woke up bright and early to meet at the FAB at 5:30 am. We packed up the buses and we were on our way to New Orleans at 6! After getting through the city without any traffic problems, we stopped at Chickfila for some much needed breakfast before the long trip ahead of us.

Everybody slept for about an hour more, and we arrived at the first stop on our trip – the Tuskeegee Institute and Airman Museum! We first toured the George Washington Carver Museum, and learned all about how Dr. Carver made much more than the peanut and had a big impact on our groceries today. After that we took a short drive over to the Tuskeegee Airman Museum there we learned about how these people that were apart of the experiment were the first people of color to be allowed to fly. They fought in World War 2 and even after fighting so hard, they came home to racism and discrimination. We all felt so sad about that fact.

After we finished touring the museum, fascinated over the cool planes hanging there, we were back on the road. We stopped for a quick lunch and kept going.

At last we arrived in New Orleans – after a four hour drive and three bathroom stops! The first glimpses of the city made everyone very excited to explore the city this week. We checked in to our hotel and headed out for dinner.

The first taste of New Orleans was a good success, and everyone was left very satisfied. Some went to a Thai place, some went to Daisy Duke’s – a good New Orleans style cooking place, and some settled for Domino’s because they were just ready for food. Whatever we ate, we all met back together at the hotel for a team meeting to debrief and make plans for tomorrow. The group at last called it a night, looking forward to what was in store!

Austin Geter, 10th grade

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