The Big Easy – good times!

Wednesday was a great day for all of us. As usual, we got up bright and early, and the groups headed to their work sites. Our group, Group 2, made a lot of progress on Miss Betty’s house. Some of us finished priming, others continued to scrape the old paint off of windows, and some of us got to start applying the Banana Cream paint! It was a long day of work, but we all had a great time. All of us got to know each other really well, and we love spending the time with our new Maryland (and Syracuse!) friends. During lunch, Oleg, our fantastic house captain told us his story about why he decided to come here to New Orleans and dedicate these years of his life to helping those in need. For some of us Wednesday was the first time we got to see and meet Miss Betty. The huge smile on her face when she saw us applying the first coat of paint is just another reminder of why we decided to come and do this.

After a long day of work, we hurried back to the Marina Motel to get ready for a night in the French Quarter…ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!! Many of us went off to try some of the cuisine New Orleans is known for, including but not limited to fried catfish sandwiches, jambalaya, and Café du Monde’s famous (and delicious) beignets. Being able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the French Quarter was unreal. The streets were packed, and locals and tourists alike were all celebrating. We had a great time. There were tons of opportunities to see live music (including jazz you can’t find anywhere else), which a lot of us took advantage of. On St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans, there is also a huge parade. There are a bunch of floats and what seems like a never-ending parade of people handing out beads. Many of us caught some! We were also able to check out the plethora of souvenir shops with tons of chachkies to bring back to College Park. We all had a great time Wednesday night. Our night in the French Quarter together was special and is unforgettable.

Today most of us continued to apply the Banana Cream paint on the house.  By the end of the day today, most of the house had at least one coast of the Banana Cream paint! Today at lunch Miss Betty rewarded us for our hard work. She made us fried chicken, dirty rice, and carrot cake cupcakes, all of which were homemade! It was all delicious. She also gave us Winn-Dixie Peach and Orange Pineapple sodas…something we’re not used to up north! They were great too. Some of us also got to learn how to construct and use scaffolding for the first time. This was our last full day of work but we plan on working extremely hard and doing as much as we possibly can tomorrow in the limited hours we have left to work on the house. We are all extremely proud of the work we have done this week.

author Sam Blum

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