May 2, 2012
I returned to Luther a few days ago after a weekend of planning in New Orleans for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America National Youth Gathering! I am on a team leading the Gathering Volunteer Corps, a group of 250 individuals willing to help during the five days of the Gathering. Over 33,000 Lutheran youth and chaperones have signed up to journey to New Orleans for a few days of fellowship, service and a good time. I attended the Gathering in 2009 (it happens every three years) and it was a life-changing experience. This year, I will get to lead a team of 30 volunteers while I am there, and I am so excited to serve!
Over the weekend, it was my team’s job to assign volunteers to groups that will work at the Convention Center and the Dome, where most of the events take place. It was a long day of planning on Saturday, but I felt so productive by the end. Getting to know the members of my team was also essential, as we will be working together for the next few months. Our team is the most diverse in both age and location among the planning teams for the Gathering, making it a unique experience!
On Sunday, a few of us were able to go to the historical French Quarter, classic New Orleans. This part of the city holds Cafe du Monde, home to beignets and coffee. Beignets, if you are not fortunate enough to have had this heavenly food, are fried pastries HEAPED in powdered sugar. Don’t wear dark clothes, you will be covered in a powdery white cloud of goodness. Next, we headed to the French Market where we dined on raw oysters and fried dill pickles. I know, I have quite the palette.
After that, it was time to return to the reality of school and looming final exams. Though it was a quick trip, I am thrilled to continue work on this project for the next few months!