. One man loved to hug people but he got in trouble and the people from the center yelled at him which was hard to see. There was almost no physical contact from the workers which is critcal. After, I picked up Emily and we went down to Magazine street with Jasmine to wander around a little bit and look into some of the shops. Then picked up other people and went back to Tulane for the amazing dance classes.
On the 3rd, we had the second workshop at 7th ward neighborhood center. Rather than having around 5 kids, we only had 2. They loved the interaction and all of the projects and activities that Bianca and Rodney had planned for them but it was still sad to only see two of the kids. I took lots of pictures and videos in order to document our work for our final projects. We got back relatively early and Robin took me and Jasmine to see the Freret Neighborhood Center. I ended up riding in the car with Robin for about 2 hours while we checked out the center and picked up everyone from their work places. That night I took two of the dance classes (Haitian with Penial and Ghanian with Awal). Then we all went to a reggae club and danced the night away! It was really sweaty and hot though so we left relatively early.
For the fourth, we planned on going downtown and seeing Essence Festival
. The festival is held in New Orleans every year and it is sponsered by an African American Women's magazine. There are vendors and artists and companies from all over the city that set up booths and then they have speakers come. Many of the speakers are focused on empowerment. That morning Emily, Tamara, Amy and I decided to ride the trolly into town early in the morning (10 Am) and went to get breakfast on a side street. The place we found was called Fleur-de-Lis Cafe and was really crowded. It took 1 hour to get our food so we went down the street and shopped for that hour. We also found an Urban Outfitters and some cute shops. Then, We wandered around the festival for a little while and looked at the artwork and such. But our feet and bodies were aching from the dancing the night before so we decided we wanted to sit for a while and went to an IMAX film about the hurricane and necessity for wetlands. We went to the riverwalk for dinner in the food court and just stayed there to watch the fireworks. I was not very impressed with the fireworks, they were nothing compared to the usual EGR ones. Then we went home for a short time and went back downtown to Bourbon for the night. It was not as exciting as the first night and was really overcrowded and not very much fun plus most of us were not in the mood to go out so we just sat in a jazz club for a long time.
On July 2, Rather than returning to the Porch to help Ed, we went to his house because he needed his kitchen painted. The Doctor and I showed up and only his kids were there. Finally Ed showed up and showed us the paint but we got into the kitchen and there were still dishes everywhere and the walls were wood panelling. We were told to just paint over everything so that is what we did. We only stayed for a few hours, but during that time the children were crazy! They fought continuously and the youngest one had no idea how to paint so the cabinets looked a little rough but they got done! Every once in a while all of the kids would leave the room and I got very frightened that they were killing each other. By the time we left though they were still all alive, so it was viewed as a success. After, Doctor and I headed to the Arc which is a place for mentally handicapped people. I really enjoyed the people, but the center is struggling for organization. We had the opportunity to hang out and play with the people for a little while and very few of them are even able to communicate