Monday, April 14, 2008

Vegan Vacationing

I got back from a fun-filled weekend in New Orleans late last night. While we were there for the star-studded 10th Anniversary performance of the Vagina Monologues at the SuperDome, it also happened to be the pretty famous French Quarter Jazz Festival.

Driving into New Orleans past neighborhoods abandoned and still in utter disrepair from Katrina is heart wrenching. Pulling into the French Quarter and see bustling streets and open businesses is heart warming. I hadn't been to New Orleans in ten years and I feared the damage from Katrina would act as a dark cloud over the trip, though quite the contrary it made me appreciate the resiliency of such an amazing city and the warrior-spirit of its people.

I got to eat west African food, go on a Haunted History tour, trek from one end of New Orleans to the other and back again, walk along the Mississippi, tour a historic above-ground cemetary, listen to some amazing activists talk about the work they do interntionally to help women who are victims of violence, see an awe-inspiring cast perform an incredibly moving version of the Vagina Monologues, and take some great pictures along the way.

I left New Orleans thinking, "I could live here." The city was as vibrant and inspiring as I found it all those years ago. That does not overshadow the many devastating and real problems going on right outside of the tiny area where the tourists flock. Problems that inspire me to do continue down the path I'm on, to help women and promote human rights. Perhaps one day I'll even do it in New Orleans.

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