Visiting New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

For 3.X’s final study trip, we were visiting far away from home; New Orleans, Louisianaa city of delicious seafood, lovely Jazz, original old trams and great spirit.

On this trip we were accompanied by the subjects of English and physical geography. Prior to the trip, we had worked with the culture of The Southern States in America, hurricane Katrina and the consequences of the natural disaster, the geography and morphology of New Orleans and common global issues that Denmark and Louisiana are facing: Global warming and heavy rainfall; hereby solutions to prevent floods such as green roofs and green city spaces.

During our stay we visited the International High School of New Orleans. We experienced a very different school environment and got to present our posters that we had made in class beforehand. The class which we were visiting was divided into smaller groups, circling the classroom as we got to present our poster to each group. We were able to talk and ask each other questions in between the switches and the pupils of the International High School were highly engaged, making it easy for us to feel very welcome.

The variation in the city of New Orleans was huge. We both saw poverty in its vivid shape living in tents under bridges, trying to seek shelter from the huge amounts of heavy rains. We also experienced the wealthy neighborhood; Garden District, with extraordinary mansions missing absolutely nothing some of us even got to see the home of Beyoncé and Jay Z. To make the variation clear we did neighborhood analysis of both the French Quarter and Garden District.

We visited The Destrehan Plantation and went on a Swamp Tour the same day. At the plantation, the guide, Emma, – dressed in the traditional dress and bonnetprovided us with a tour. Here she taught us about the everyday life as a slave of the Destrehan family. At the swamp tour we got to experience nature up close. We both got to see alligators, racoons, a snake and a wild boar from the Airboat sailing the bayou.

At the University of New Orleans, we met the geologist Mark Kulp. He informed us about the two main nature related disasters that New Orleans is facing; land loss and hurricanes. The state of Louisiana is experiencing the largest amount of land loss in the world. He told us that because of the ice cap melting at the North and South Pole due to global warming and the land of New Orleans sinking due to oil extractions, they are facing double effected consequences: “A football field of land is disappearing every 30 minutes.”, Kulp informed us.

In the light of our timing – leaving for the study trip in November – we did some research and work on our SRP (a rather large final assignment which we do our final year of school). Some of us, including me, did interviews with the students at the International High School of New Orleans. I cautiously inquired into the high school student; Jeremiah Jones opinion on the racial issue of The South and he answered very accurately: The problem of race is very visible here (red.: 60% of the population in New Orleans is African American). We are walking the streets, visible for everyone to

see, therefore it’s a very openly discussed topic which I think is important. You can’t just close your eyes you’re forced to take the bull by its horns, you know?

// Olivia Fitos, 3.X