Today was a very busy day, and we woke up to heavy rain. We were
afraid that we wouldn’t be able to do the work we were
supposed to do as we had originally planned to work on water. When
we got to the banks, we had to take 2 boats to get to our staging
area on Lake Fields. Once we were there, Matt and Joe told us all
about cut grass and how their roots were great for keeping and
holding soil together.
Because of the rain, the surrounding water level of the lake was
almost the same as that of the campsite, and parts of it were
slightly flooded. Jim actually got his shoes very wet because
he underestimated the water’s height. The rain also hindered
the amount of harvesting done on land because it was dangerous to
stand on the banks, and we could have fallen in!
We then split into 2 groups—one group stayed at the
campsite to harvest the cut grass that was growing there
(carefully). The other group got onto the boats to pick up cut
grass along the river that was free floating. We had to then bring
the cut grass to a tub, so that they can grow before being planted
at a later date.
The task required us to plunge our hands in the water to grab
the floating plants and their roots. We were initially
hesitant as we weren’t sure if all the alligators were indeed
hibernating. Emily was afraid she might fall in, because who knew
what the murky water held. We also got slapped in the face by the
long pieces of grass. Cut grass, like its name, cuts skin really
easily, especially when one slides his/her finger along the blade
of the plant. The cuts are worse than paper cuts. So you can
imagine how we could look like now if our reflexes were not quick
enough. Liz on the other hand got plenty of abrasion marks on her
After round one, the land and boat groups then rotated
positions. As the land group did a very good job of harvesting as
much cut grass as that campsite had, the original boat group was
left with nothing much to do. So they played fun team bonding games
to pass the time. We played games such as Ninja and finger
When the other group got back, we took the boats back to the
dock. There we broke for lunch, and we took pictures of all of us
holding up hand-made placards saying why the wetlands should be
saved. This is so we may spread the word to others about how
important it is to preserve coastal Louisiana.
The rec center was our next stop. We got ready for dinner and
for some Cajun dancing!
Dinner was at 1921 Seafood, which was great! The only letdown
was that we could not sit as a whole team and had to be split up
into different tables. The food was amazingly delicious though, so
we didn’t really mind.
When we were done eating, we walked right to the Jolly Inn for
some good ole fashion Cajun Dancing. When we first got there it was
a little slow but things picked up quick. So many people were
dancing with the washboards and making a lot of noise. Looking
around, it was great to see that everyone looked so happy. The old
guys were so cute when they tried to teach us how to do all of the
dances. When we were done at the Jolly Inn we had a surprise stop
at an ice cream parlor. We got three quarts of ice cream, plus the
king cake ice cream that we already had! After this stop we headed
home to eat the ice cream and to begin packing up and cleaning.
Although everyone was rather tired from our long day, we had a
final group reflection because it was our last night in Louisiana.
Our overall experience with this trip was positive because everyone
seemed to have enjoyed themselves. We have learned so much about
Louisiana and believe we had an impact on the future of THE
Rachel & Emily