On our fourth day in NOLA, we visited the French Quarter. We spent time walking around the French Market, buying souvenirs, knick knacks, and food. Then we got a special tour around the Quarter from Ashton, a friendly tour guide originally from Alabama. Ashton taught us about the history behind the architecture of the area, like the reason iron was used in designs and the difference between balconies and galleries. He also taught us interesting facts about NOLA culture, like the meanings and difference between Creole and Cajun.
After lunch in Jackson Square, we headed over to TK’s house for our SBP work. We had a warm up with Tanya, where we introduced ourselves and said a TV show or movie we would like to be a character in. Then it was time for work! Our work was super diligent and detail-oriented. Using flashlights we searched each wall for any holes or lines that needed filling or sanding. This was the final skimming that the walls would go through before priming, so everything had to be as perfect as possible! Thanks to Milken students, work that could have taken over a week only took a couple days. Since this was our last day working at the house, we had a nice conclusion with Tanya and Kristie, where we learned more about SBP and the greatness of the work we did.
For dinner, we went to Parkway Bakery, a local restaurant with a lot of history and connection to the town, for Po Boys. The restaurant owner even came over to our tables to tell us her story through Katrina until today. Things got emotional as she shared the devastation Katrina had on her life, but she preached to us that no matter what, we have to be thankful for what we have and know that tough times will pass.
After dinner, we got a super special opportunity to get an airboat tour through Louisiana swamps. We prepared with bug spray and life jackets, and then we were off! The views were incredible as we watched the sun set over the swampy water. We got to watch our tour guides feed some large alligators and even got to hold a baby alligator ourselves! Overall, this was a very special part of the trip for everyone because we got to truly experience an entirely new way of life. The tour was peaceful, eye-opening, and very fun.