From L.A. to LA

I've spent the past four weeks with a group of eight fun, passionate students and a dedicated instructor (as well as a few others generous enough to record some of our great times. We've traveled throughout Southern Louisiana, exploring, reading, writing, and enjoying the mystical pleasures of this strange land. Below are some of my favorite experiences, why they hold special places in my heart, and how the bookpacking adventure enhanced its impact.

I don't know how to draw alligators.

I don't know how to draw alligators.

Green Is My Favorite Color


"What're you lookin' at?"

"What're you lookin' at?"

I Am One with Darkness

Food Is One of My Favorite Things in Life

Exploring Is Super Fun


What Do the Animals Say?

We bookpacked to the Audubon Zoo and had a day of fun. There were plenty of cool animals there! Here are some videos of the animals saying what's on their minds. What a diverse group of voices!

Quite the vocal bunch, right?

I got the idea for these videos while watching the orangutans in the Asia exhibit at the zoo. A couple orangutans hung loosely from the structure, staring at each other, offering slight interactions but not very amiable towards one another. Beside me, a couple stood in each other’s arms, the boyfriend voicing over the scene in front of him, taking on the role of the male orangutan. He said something like “I’m sorry, it’s just not working out,” enacting a breakup between the orangutans. I tried holding in my chuckle listening to him, but my brain also took off on a tangent, pondering what animals would say if they spoke our language—to each other, to us, to themselves. I thought it might be a fun idea to observe each animal form then on and vocalize what I thought they were thinking.

It didn’t take long for me to find a group of animals which provided an entertaining enough tableau to make me want to record a voiceover of “their” thoughts. I encountered the barasingha deer. A large group relaxed off to the side and a lone ranger, separated from the rest, drank water a few yards away. The group seemed very chill but judgmental and it felt like high school for animals. After this initial group, it became easier for me to spot these sorts of interactions. I saw the small tortoise’s repulsion to the camera, the restfulness of the jaguar, the defensiveness of the bird in the aviary towards an approaching bird. It was fun attempting to craft my own interpretations of their thoughts. It provided for a more thrilling experience than I expected.

The zoo trip was a nice detour from the more “adult” stuff that we have experienced in New Orleans (educational museum tours, a sad but amazing plantation visit, BOURBON STREET). Although the rest has been just as fun, the zoo was a nice, spontaneous little treat; one that reminded me of some of the most important and exciting elements of visiting new places: having fun for the sake of fun and reinvigorating the childlike wonder that we often lose in the monotony of daily life. In honor of that, I felt compelled to write this silly, lighthearted, maybe funny (maybe not) post. Hope you’ve enjoyed it! I will certainly continue enjoying the fun that the Big Easy has to offer me.