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A couple weeks ago, I took a direct flight from Denver to Louis Armstrong Airport in Louisiana. I had been to New Orleans before, only for a couple of days, so I was excited to come back for a longer stay and to work at my placement. It’s been a whirlwind last couple of weeks including getting settled into our apartments at Loyola and getting oriented at work, but it’s been a great experience so far. It’s been at least two weeks now and I’m still excited to wake up in this city every day and to do work so completely unlike what I have done in the past. To give context, I’m a Neuroscience and French major and I am now interning as a counselor for a kids’ culinary camp to teach our campers about diverse foods and how to feel comfortable and confident in the kitchen – at a time when more and more people are drifting from cooking at home.

When I’m not planning recipes or grocery shopping, I have been able to get to know the quirks of the streetcars, adapt to the smothering humidity, ogle the mansions on St. Charles Ave, and eat foods I haven’t seen on a menu anywhere else. I got to hold an alligator!! It was a baby, but one nonetheless. I can’t claim to be akin to a local now, but all I’m saying is, at this point, we don’t seem like tourists anymore. While I was waiting at a streetcar stop with my fellow Dukeengage intern after work, a couple asked whether we were from here. We had to admit we weren’t, but we were glad to help them with directions anyway. There’s so much to learn about this city yet, but we’re making progress and I’ll be glad to update you along the way. In the meantime, enjoy this picture of me with my new friend!