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Our Final Night In New Orleans


Cannon, Muntaha, Kaleigh, Andrew, Isaac, Sam, Kelsey, Carly, Empress, Jack, Serenity and Logan

21st of June, 2014


New Orleans '14

Travel Journal

This week was different and I met a lot of awesome people on this trip. I wish that I had more time in New Orleans to help rebuild the wetlands and have more time with the amazing people that were on this trip. This trip has taught me that life is not easy and that the work will be hard but you can do it with self-motivation and others motivating you to become a better person.

This experience definitely did not turn out like I expected. I’m not even really sure what I expected, but what I know is that this was the perfect start to my summer. This trip, with all the work we did, the students that were apart of it, and the city surrounding us, led to an overall rounded experience. It was beautiful, frustrating, incredibly hot, and fulfilling at the same time. And although I definitely won’t remember every great moment that has passed, I will remember the feeling this trip has given me, and that sensation is something I won’t forget.

Returning again to New Orleans, I figured that I had learned all that was to learn last year, but I was wrong. This year brought its share of new learning experiences with lessons that will become a part of me and that I will share with others as I leave to go home. This year I really took the opportunity to step out of my shy person comfort zone and make meaningful connections with my fellow students and the city itself. I’m proud of the work I put in and can honestly say that I tried my hardest. I look forward to continuing the Shoulder to Shoulder process and global citizenship through daily life.

This was my first ever service trip and I had a great experience with some great people. Throughout the trip I worked in many different places to restore the wetlands and make NOLA a better place. At the start of the trip I was unaware of the great times I would have on this trip. I have to say my favorite moment was planting out in the marsh with my good new friend Sam. I had many different experiences and stepped out of my comfort zone a lot, but ultimately came out a better person. My time here was short but with that short time I learned a ton.
– Andrew

This was my second time in New Orleans, and it was the first time doing a service trip with Shoulder to Shoulder. At the beginning of the week, I did not have the pleasure to know all of these amazing people that were the trip. I really felt I bonded with multiple members of this trip. The one memory that was most important to me was when Sam, Logan, and I hung out the first night. We all shared our mutual interest towards music. I also bonded with many other members on the trip and I will miss them a lot. They really made this trip fantastic and it made me have great memories.

This was my second service trip, and it was my first with Students Shoulder to Shoulder. When I chose to go to New Orleans, I was very excited to help a place in the US. Going into the trip I had already been gone for 3 weeks, so I had a feeling I would have a tough trip. Only five minutes into the trip I was proven wrong, and I was already talking and joking in the airport with some of my trip-mates. I had lots of ups and downs on this trip but I always went to bed on a good note, after having great conversations with the group. Although the work we did was hard, it went quickly, and I will miss all my friends I made, and cannot wait to see what the future holds with Student Shoulder to Shoulder.
– Sam

This was my first service trip with Students Shoulder to Shoulder. I thought going into this trip that it would be hard, but I didn’t think I would have as much fun as I did. The work was difficult sometimes, and put me out of my comfort zone, but it was fulfilling. I feel like we helped make a real impact in restoring the wetlands. The people I met on this trip were amazing. I made a lot of friends and everyone was so open with each other. Our group leaders were also really nice. This trip was fantastic and I made many memories and I will miss everyone from this trip. I look forward to doing more service work like this in the future.
– Kelsey

This is also my first service trip, and although the trip was short, the impact it made on me will stay forever. The work was at times difficult and unpleasant, but when taking a step back and looking at the big picture, I realized the hard work was totally worth it. In the six days I was here, I met some really awesome people and enjoyed bonding with each of them. I really enjoyed working in the Marshes and rebuilding it by planting Bull Rush. I learned a lot about Louisiana and the community of New Orleans and I can’t wait to come back here very soon, hopefully on another Shoulder to Shoulder Trip. I look forward to doing more work like this and I will cherish all the memories I made.

This week was really fun and different. I really thought that it was fun working. The first day of work was really fun and I really wouldn’t be bothered if I had to do it again. The food was really good here and the people were really nice. I look forward to coming back to New Orleans again.

About halfway through the week on this trip to New Orleans, I began to formulate my only criticism for this Shoulder to Shoulder trip – that it was too short. Right when we arrived in our house in the Lower Ninth Ward, I began to form a bond with the city of New Orleans. It is a place with such high levels of culture, and people who are so proud to live here that it draws you in. From the first night when we wandered around the Zydeco Festival to the last night when we ate incredible Po’ Boys, I had a great time immersing myself in The Crescent City and working to help improve it.

This trip was an amazing experience. I remember sitting in baggage claim anxious to meet everyone. First I met Beth. She was very nice and happy to see me. Usually, I am shy around people I don’t know now, so I tried really hard to talk. Then, I met Muntaha. We talked and talked about where we were from and what school we going to. When she told me she was going to Sarah Lawrence, I was like “woah”. She must be really smart. As a group, we all meshed really well. This made working easier because we were all motivated. Everyday, we gave it 100% and never stayed back because of sunburns, allergies or soreness. I really liked working for Common Ground Relief. We had an impact on the restoration of the wetlands. Visiting the French Quarter was really cool too. I feel really great about the work we did for CGR in the nursery and around the house. It was nice knowing that our hard work is appreciated. No matter how many service trips I do, I will always remember the people I met on this one.

New Orleans is a great city that is greatly impacted by the culture of the people. From the time I arrived at the airport I knew I was going to enjoy this trip thoroughly. KC was so welcoming to everyone who came down the escalator. All of the kids instantly connected, it can be scary when you are with a group of total strangers, but we never had a quiet moment. I believe I have made friendships that are going to last me a very long time. One thing that I really liked about the trip was how the activities never repeated, so we never got bored with anything we were doing. James, who was the person from Common Ground who pretty much coordinated the things we did, and he made sure all of the things we did were fun and kept us occupied. Being able to see the culture first hand by going to the French Quarter was amazing. I haven’t ever seen a city quite like New Orleans where everyone is friendly, and it’s so family oriented. New Orleans really has a true sputtering feel to it. Everyone is so hospitable and the people of New Orleans really embrace their culture. I am extremely happy to have been able to make an impact on this city and hope to continue helping in the near future.



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