Arriving in New Orleans- what to expect

Philip: I have been looking toward this trip for many weeks. Eating Southern food and meeting with local officials and seeing what their leadership styles are during different situations is something I’m sure I will be doing. Seeing the diverse culture will be exciting as well as educational, as I will see first hand how leadership is viewed and handled in the southern states of America. Getting people’s views of New Orleans and comparing and contrasting New Orleans with Ellensburg will be interesting as I’m not sure what to expect coming into the meetings. I have already seen some differences from traveling day. The way people talk and act are different, but intriguing to watch. I hope there will be more experiences of the true New Orleans so I don’t see the tourist side, but the local side.

Hannah: Seeing the areas damaged the most by Hurricane Katrina was humbling and something I never thought I would see first-hand. I remember watching the news and seeing the clips of people stuck on their roofs and furniture floating in the streets. It seemed very surreal that I was in the same location. However, I was surprised because if the bus driver had not told us that we were in a neighborhood that was damaged from Hurricane Katrina, I would have never guessed. The houses showed no sign of long-term damage and the neighborhood seemed to be just fine. I was surprised by this but happy at the same time because it shows the hope and pride the people of New Orleans have for the city. The people that call New Orleans home really want to be here and continuously work to re-store the city in order to make it the best it can be. None-the-less, some of the houses we saw were delapitated and had nobody living in them. This could show physical poverty but there is more to poverty than that. Poverty does exist in New Orleans but so far, it has not been seen in extremely predictable ways. I see poverty as a state of a continual lack of an essential needed for survival. From what I saw today, Hurricane Katrina left New Orleans in a state of poverty but the people of the city are fiercely working towards and succeeding at combating poverty. The poverty I see in my own life is not the same poverty that the people of New Orleans have. I am not always optimistic and would have a hard time living somewhere that I know is not permanent and would get discouraged thinking about the possibility of the place I love getting destroyed so easily. As I see more of New Orleans and the people, I hope to find a way to overcome this.

Cristian: Living in Ellensburg all my life I haven’t been exposed to variety of things. And coming to New Orleans I will learn about other cultures since I’ve only grown up with the American and Mexican cultures. I’ve never seen a natural disaster happened in Ellensburg and the only natural disasters I’ve seen are by photo and videos on the internet. And I feel as you do feel something when you see natural disasters through photos and videos but I bet you feel something stronger when you see it through your own eyes in person. I’m also excited that we are being thrown into this culture and will be eating what the locals eat. What better way to learn about a different culture by doing what locals do and eat what they eat every now and then.

Ryan: I am not too sure what to expect from the trip to New Orleans because of everything that I have heard through hearsay. I have been told to expect crazy parties due to Mardi Gras. Also, there are a lot of trolly’s and tourists that enjoy some really good food that leans towards a seafood diet. I have no clue from the variety of events and different lifestyles of many cultures from New Orleans other than it being a giant carnival but I do expect to see a lot of houses that are still damaged from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I am expecting to learn about a very unique and diverse culture in New Orleans. I expect to see some sort of voodoo shops and some french food. I am here to look at leadership in a different culture and lifestyle than what we are used to back in Washington. I want to take away an understanding of how New Orleans is different in certain aspects as opposed to where I grew up or even Seattle. I will soon figure out what is different and odd to me and try to compare it to what I grew up with.

Elizabeth: I feel that a lot of people today believe that they must travel far outside the states to have an eye opening experience. Throughout this trip I am hoping to learn more about the history and culture of New Orleans and to see the differences right here in the U.S between Western and Southern states. I hope to experience a new lifestyle and engulf myself in the food, music, and customs of the New Orleans people. On a deeper level I hope to learn about New Orleans pre- and post- Katrina through conversation with those who know it best, the locals. I hope to see what they have planned for the future in making New Orleans thrive as it did in the past. I also look forward to being a part of that process by partnering with YRNO – Youth Rebuilding New Orleans a local non-profit, which we will help by volunteering labor as well as creating funds and awareness in hopes that others will follow with good deeds. After this immersion experience, I hope to be aware of the differences that exist even when close to home. One thing is for sure, I will feel accomplished in what the CCLP cohort has managed to accomplish and make impact in the short amount of time we had. Cheers to the start of a great journey!

Joshua: I expect to learn more about the New Orleans social culture. I’m excited to experience more “authentic” food culture,  See the historical sites and learn about how they came to ‘feed’ into the vibrant New Orleans culture, both before and after any disasters. I’m also expecting to have an educationally beneficial conversation with some NOLA born and raised about Katrina and its effects on the city; whether the effects on culture, economy, education, (or whatever the NO natives are closely tied to) could have negatively or positively impacted the city. I expect all of our experiences to help us learn as students and gain cultural experience.

Ricardo: What I expect to get out of this experience is to actually see the effects of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. This is by interviewing different people from the local community who were affected by hurricane Katrina, and I can get a first hand experience of how the local community was affected and how their lives changed after it. Back home the news only showed us one side of the story, which was how bad the city was destroyed.  What I am hoping to experience is the culture of New Orleans. From what I have heard, New Orleans is more diverse than Ellensburg.  For me this is a new experience because I have grown up in Ellensburg, which is a town that is not very diverse. Ellensburg is a small town in which whites are pediment and Latinos are the largest minority. But here in New Orleans I am expecting to see people from all kinds of backgrounds.

Olivia: From this visit, I expect to learn and understand how leadership, support, and unity help a community in chaos. I expect to learn about the rich culture that we have been studying through the year, the different traditions, and strong beliefs in different aspects of the life of the people in the city. From the interviews I hope to get a perspective of the ideas and beliefs of members of the community, so this can help me to reflect in this experience and consider the issue. I want to see how the community got back from being devastated, into a new community with new goals and expectations.

From the different places we are going to visit I want to see the historical changes in culture and how every event influenced the life of the members of the community. I expect the learning process to be fun and interesting; I want to learn from a culture that is new to my experience and my knowledge. I expect to feel curiosity and interest; I want to learn from people, places and observations, and relate my own culture to the ones in the town, learning from it as much as I can to apply it to the rest of my community. This week should reflect the knowledge about culture, leadership and personal experiences that I have in my own culture and help me learn the same from this new culture.


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