I miss everything about New Orleans. I miss the random afternoon thunderstorms and the bumpy streets that flood in less than five minutes. I miss the view of the Mississippi River from the top of the steps across from Jackson Square. I miss the late-night laughs with my fellow DukeEngagers in Suite 602. I miss looking up recipes for the kids camp that we could feasibly make with no refrigerator, oven, microwave, or stovetop. I miss looking out the window on the way to work, watching the city come to life in the morning. I miss marching the kids across the street to the neutral ground, with 10 kids relentlessly asking me what game we were going to play that day. I miss watching our little campers don their chef hats and walk across the stage to receive their very official diplomas. I miss my co-workers, and each and every member of the DE NOLA program that helped to make my experience so completely unforgettable.
And that's what it was, unforgettable. I won't soon forget the lessons and skills that I learned in New Orleans this summer. Wherever I go, I'll carry with me the memories of the people I met and the kids that taught me so much about being flexible and having fun. I'm so grateful that I had the chance to serve in New Orleans and become part of a community that welcomed us Duke kids with open arms. I'm proud of the members of our DukeEngage program whose hard work will have a lasting impact for their community partners and the people that they serve. After our experiences in NOLA, I'm confident that when we return to school, we will be able to take what we've learned and continue to pay it forward in the Duke-Durham community.
Alright, I'm almost done - this is the last time I'll ramble on the blog, I promise! I'll leave y'all with the New Orleans motto, one that we definitely lived up to this summer: Laissez les bon temps rouler, or "Let the good times roll."
So thank you, NOLA, for all of the good times. We were so #blessed to be a part of them.
-Carolyn Rath <3