So Close But So Far Away

Blog 1:

{Pictures on their way!}

As we make our way out of the plane into the corridor of the airport we are greeted by a semi-bold man in his sixties. He turned out to be the U-High principal, and furthermore, he would accompany us throughout our journey in Baton Rouge. We continued to make our way through the deserted airport at midnight, but we only took a couple of minutes to reach the bus that would take us to the hotel. After a hours ride in a typical American school bus we arrived at the Lod Cook Hotel, surprisingly its’ gift shop was still open. We hastily took to our rooms where we would pass out for the next nine hours until it was time to meet our new families.

We woke up around eight in order to be able and have a nice hot shower, well that was the plan at least. According to one of my room-mates,  I burned through most of the hot water, but I beg to differ. (Just took a ten min shower) I made my way down the stairs expecting a full continental breakfast, but guess what we got toast and a sad muffin. None of that fancy continental breakfast we got promised the last night, yet all that did not matter as we met our host families minute later.

I was greeted by a tall man in his mid-fifties and a  thirteen-year-old boy who would I would be hosting in February. Luckily for me the brought me into their home with open arms and showed me the rest of the crew . There is little  Emit who is two years old, Eli who is five and bounces off the walls, Holland the seventeen-year-old sister, Hillary or Ma Ma as they call her, Eric the dad, and last but not least Evan who turns out to be quite the social butterfly mind you.

Blog 2:

{Pictures on their way!}

It is my second day in Baton Rouge and so far I have been having a blast. I ate the towns’ best Mafalda, and I went sight seeing the levies for a while with little Toad and Eli. {Toad is Emits’ nickname} However, today I start school at U-High lab school, and let me tell you it’s  different alright. They have the same schedule every day for the entire year with the same teacher, and to make it worse they only have one twenty minutes throughout the entire day.  Unbelievable right!

I woke up a six in the morning to catch a hot shower early in the morning to head out early in the morning  to get on time to school. Fortunately for me, everyone in the family is an early bird and is generally on time in the morning. I head out at seven and arrive at school at 7:35, and as I head to the office I am re-united with my Panamanian classmates.  We talk and meet each other’s hosts at school while at the same time I head to our classes to find out that I will not be participating at all. The science teacher and the Social Studies teacher left us to our own devices for most of the classes, but I still had to help our hosts here and there. It was truly a new experience to live another school system which is completely different from the one I am used to.

Blog 3: Downtown History 8.png

I have been in Louisiana for a couple of days now and have today I am visiting an old town named Vermillion Vile. It is an old village which was settled by slaves and other persecuted minorities in the US at the time, but at the time most people who lived here had native French roots. I visited a traditional school house followed by a blacksmith which some called Santa for certain reasons {Beard and Belly} and finally a dancing lesson. I learned about the native cultures and the immigrant groups which settled throughout Louisiana and how they impact today’s modern citizens in their everyday life.

I spent the day in Vermillion Vile and then headed back home to reunite with our host families. As I got home I was totally spent, and as I made my way to my bedroom Evan said “Up for a Ping Pong match?” He spoke the magic words, Ping Pong, we both raced upstairs to take our side and fight out two 21 point matches out of which I skunked him once. {Skuned means one player got beat 7-0} After that match there has not been one game that I have been able to beat him, not one, but that doesn’t matter as we enjoy the rallies we play. This sums up my day for the most parts, but the next one involves food and a lot of it.

Blog 4:

A massive LSU Football game, and when I say massive I mean gargantuan. One hundred thousand people crammed into a single Football stadium and all of them cheering for one team. Nonetheless, before I tell you about the game I have to tell you about the tremendous tailgate that took place before the game. A tailgate basically is large groups of people gathering before a game to eat {Alot}, drink {Alot}, watch and play football before heading into the enormous stadium.

I made my way to Graysons’ tailgate {A friend from my host family and mine too now} to witness the dedication they have towards setting up tents and tables which will serve one of two purposes, one hold cups for beer pong or hold food.For most of the day, we watched past Football matches or dedicated our time to playing the actual sport. Overall the tailgate was kind of an introductory ceremony to the game.

I made my way inside through the massive crowd which eagerly waited for the gates to burst open, and as they did we got shoved through. However, as I witnessed the masses of people flood around me I could only see one thing. The 120-yard football field encased one hundred thousand people cheering on the same team. I ran up the stairs followed by Grayson and Evan who followed up close, and luckily for me, I found myself staring down at the masses  who cheered for the TIGERS! It is engraved into my mind the huge amount of people who are cheering for the white and orange players sprinting down the field.

Blog 5:

Yet again I have to wake up at six, but the only difference is that today I smashed my nose against my bed pole. After leaving a nice little dent in my nose I headed over to the kitchen where I found the most amazing thing on earth. Coffee, the black nectar of the gods. I poured myself a cup of coffee added some milk and sugar and I was ready to go for the day, for I daren’t know at the time but it was going to be a long one.

We left the school minutes later after I arrived, the bus took off  and headed to one of the most culturally rich cities there is. New Orleans that is, we headed to the aquarium where we learned about most of the wildlife present in Louisiana. Apparently, baby Alligator will grow in a couple of weeks to full size. (Out to fact check that)

From New Orleans Aquarium we headed over to Cafe De Mound where we ate a traditional Louisianan food called Beignet.  It consists of two pieces of a flower which get stuck together and then are covered with powdered sugar. They are some of the most delicious pastries I have ever eaten, and we got three of them! Yum. Finally, we headed to Mardi Grass museum.

I made my way onto the bus where we headed towards Mardi Grass museum. I entered the plainly decorated storage facility which did not entail any color full floats inside. To my surprise, I find myself walking into a giant storage facility filled with huge parade cars decorated with enums flowers and beasts. Ranging from mythical beasts to plain flowers, it was an amazing sight to behold. I found myself staring at the color full  sight ahead. As the group and I made our way through the museum we toured the floats and looked at King Kong. A day filled with spectacle and color followed by an amazing piece of fried dough, and truly something amazing to find in one city.


One Comment Add yours

  1. whatcanib says:

    Thanks, Iggy. Yes, More pics please. Very well written:informative and entertaining. It sounds like a real experience. Have you visited New Orleans yet…and how is the school?


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