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Day 3: A Taste of Louisiana

July 15th, 2012 Categories: blending..., eating... 4 comments

I wrote this at the end of my time in the USA this summer (although some students continued on to the College Training), on my way home. It was a wonderful time, and the Summer Training was also so refreshing and supplying. Hopefully I still remember enough of the Blending Trip (and have enough time) to share it with you in the coming days.

Day 3 (Thursday 21 June 2012)
Hey Y’all and I woke on Day 3 and were cherished with a lovely breakfast prepared by our hosts. We had sausages and eggs and biscuits (the American kind) and sweet melon – yum. After that we heading to the church in Baton Rouge meeting hall to meet all the other saints. Sir Wattsalot had acquired a new football – a real football that is, i.e. soccer ball for those from those parts :) – and those who spoke or sung the verse for the day had the honour of signing it with their new southern names.

Our verses for the day were Colossians 3:16-17. Anyone still remember it? :)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God.

And whatever you do in word or in deed, do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Swamp Exploration

The first activity of the day was to head out to Jean Lafitte, a national historical park and reserve, a.k.a. a swamp! We were joined by some local saints, and had an enjoyable time reading and singing on the journey to the swamp.

When we arrived, a park ranger gave us the safety orientation. I learnt two lessons:

  • I should not dangle my feet or hands over the boardwalk…
    …because they are the size of alligator prey (and gators are prone to latch on)
  • I should not wander off the trails…
    …because someone did that and was lost for four days (but at least he was found)

Very important lessons indeed! We then watched a short video about the Mississippi River, the swamps, and the lifestyle in the area, and then we were on our own to explore the swamps ourselves.

Well actually, it was not as adventurous as I made it sound…


We followed a boardwalk trail and awed at the roots of the trees that stood up for air. They were called something to do with knees, but to me they looked more like knobbly finger tips. There were lots of dragonflies and banana spiders. Some of the saints did see the tail of an alligator – and we heard its noise (like the put-put-put of an engine), but otherwise it was quite a peaceful walk through the swamps.

Swamp sitting

We then had a lunch break in the picnic area, and that was when the mosquitoes really struck – so we doused ourselves very liberally with bug spray, but not before some members of our party acquired quite a few bites. After lunch we took a walk along another trail and saw a few small snakes and lizards, and one brother caught a huge grasshopper. He later put it on his shoulder and seemed surprised when it hopped off and disappeared into the undergrowth – can’t think why.

Meet Fred

Impressions of New Orleans

Well our second destination after the swamps was to New Orleans (say it like “Nourlin’s”), where we first went to Café du Monde and tried their beignets. Apparently both the place and the product are world-famous – and at least many of the saints we visited later in our travels immediately asked about it once we told them we had visited New Orleans.

For those who, like me before this trip, do not know what a beignet is: it is fried dough, a little bit like a doughnut, very liberally covered with powdered sugar. Wikipedia tells me a beignet is synonymous with English “fritters”, but here you go, pictures are better than words:

It is quite an experience eating them – inhale at the wrong moment and you’d get a mouthful of powdered sugar, and breathe out of your nose as you are taking a bite and little puffs of sugar go up into the air. We looked like we’d just finished painting a white wall after our time there!

Don't breathe

We then had some time to explore the French Quarter a little bit. We went around with some local sisters and looked at the shops, and then around the French Market where we sampled a few of the local delicacies – King Cake, and later Gator Jerky (but it was so spicy I couldn’t really tell you what gator tastes like).

French Market

It’s quite a quaint area, but quite honestly, for me the best thing about New Orleans was being with the saints. Otherwise New Orleans is just another city, and one full of so many things other than the Lord. This was actually the same impression I had of New York when we visited there on a blending trip a few years ago. Without the saints, these cities are just dark places. But because there is something so precious and shining there – the lampstand as the testimony of Jesus – actually these are places well worth visiting!

Worth visiting

Louisianian Love Feast

Well the best part of the day was still to come. We returned to the meeting hall in Baton Rouge, where the saints had prepared a wonderful love feast for us. And what was so awesome (aside from the saints themselves) was that they prepared local foods for us to try. It was a little novel for me to realise that Louisiana has such distinctive foods, and I enjoyed trying a number of new and interestingly named dishes that evening, including crawfish étouffee, gumbo, and jumbalaya. Yum.

Love Feast

Our time that evening was very sweet as we enjoyed one another’s company in the divine family. The younger ones played together as darkness fell, the older saints sat on the porch or in different rooms to fellowship, and the ones in between did a bit of both. Thank you dear saints, for not only giving us a taste of Louisiana during our time there, but also for giving us a taste of the Christ in you!

  1. mavis
    July 16th, 2012 at 19:34 | #1

    enjoyed reading your updates. very interesting. i felt like i was there myself. easiest way to recall col 3V16-17 is to sing the verses!
    never met a black grasshopper in my life. green ones yes.

  2. Younee Kim
    July 21st, 2012 at 22:12 | #2

    Nice one! I’ve been looking out for the blending trip posts on your blog – your my source for remembering what happened on each day of the trip! ;) (and you remember the details so well!)

    the pictures are so funny too lol thanks for writing them up and posting even though im sure your very busy doing other things at the moment!
    Keep them coming Sarah Lee! xx

  3. August 2nd, 2012 at 03:46 | #3

    Sarah, thanks for writing. In my experience too, the top part of being in a foreign city is being with brothers and sisters. I wasn’t able to come praise the Lord with y’all when you were at Los Angeles but I did get to meet David-Anthony/Double Barrel earlier and had some time with Efrain Casarrello (from FTTL). We thank Him for whatever blending He gives us.

  4. August 19th, 2012 at 01:13 | #4

    Wow that looked fun (except for that giant bug haha).

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