Beads and Beignets and Boutiques! Oh my!

It’s day three here in NOLA.  Today we went to a Mardi Gras recycling center run by a non-profit organization called Arc of Greater New Orleans.  The recycling center collects unused beads and other trinkets from various parades and recycles them for next year’s events.  When we first arrived, we were taken on a tour of the facility, which included a few gardens, some chickens, and a cafeteria that sells the most delicious soup in all of New Orleans.  As volunteers, we assisted in the sorting and bagging of what felt like thousands of beads.  The beads were sorted by length, color, and krewe.  A krewe is an organization that builds a float and helps to organize parades such as those for Mardi Gras.  We also separated out the broken beads and added them to the 17,000 pounds of broken beads already stored in the facility.  We had a lot of fun volunteering for Arc and meeting new people.  Check out their website here: http://www.arcgno.org/volunteer.php

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After lunch and a quick nap at Camp Restore, we headed back to the French Quarter for some shopping!  First, our group went to Aunt Sally’s for some authentic New Orleans pralines.  And afterwards, a few of us walked down the street to Cafe Du Monde to try some beignets.  We enjoyed our beignets while taking in the sights of the Mississippi River.  The beignets gave us a little taste of home, because they reminded us of sopapillas.  We walked through Jackson Square and viewed the interesting artwork being sold by local street artists.  Finally, tired of walking and spending money, we met back up with the group and returned to Camp Restore for a nice shower and some grub.

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Our view of the Mississippi River.

-Lauren and Izzy

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