Monday, December 21, 2009

Louisiana - the "Big Easy"

Heading west enabled us to leave the snow that we experienced in New Mexico and Texas, however, we were faced with another challenge...the torrential rains! By Dec. 15, Louisiana had hit the record for the most rain in a month, 22.24 inches, and they still had 15 days of the month to go! We were in Raceland, 40 miles east of New Orleans, and we had to wait out a rain storm that brought down 8 inches of rain during the night and that next morning. (You can see the flooding in the pictures.) Because of the wet conditions our only chance to camp was if we had a raft.

We made it to New Orleans and we were greeted by Ward's cousin, Russ Carll, and his wife, Angela. We stayed in their quaint B&B in the French Quarter, 1 block from Bourbon Street. So, of course they had to show us some N'awlins culture. After enjoying some crawfish bisque and oysters we listened to some fantastic jazz music!

We were also able to learn more about their culture by visiting the grade schools and talking to the children through our Pedaling For Pencils program. We were so impressed with the structure and support that these schools provided to these poverty stricken kids. As a result, you could see the respect that the kids gave the staff. We were also very intrigued that every child knew what year they would be going to college per staff encouragement.

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