OPEN TO THE EXPERIENCE….

So, the adventure continues in New Orleans, LA , where I will spend the next six months volunteering with the St Bernard Project. 

This weekend I moved into my new “home” on St Charles Avenue.  I am in the Uptown District.  FYI, a few facts about New Orleans (courtesy/ credited as noted- Written By: Encyclopedia Staff):  The greater New Orleans region includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and St. Tammany Parishes. The largest city is New Orleans, established by the French in 1718.  The area’s proximity to water leads its residents to subdivide it in relation to either the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain. The “West Bank” lies along the western bank of the Mississippi River; the “North Shore” lies to the north of Lake Pontchartrain.)

A few of the major neighborhoods in New Orleans are : French Quarter, Uptown, Garden District, Mid- City, Harahan, Central Business District and the Bridge District.  (Map below courtesy of Frommer’s Interactive Maps- frommers.com)

So, I sign this six-month lease with very nice, respectable landlords (she is a professional concert pianist and he is a professor) and we are all sitting in the condo getting to know each other and just generally chatting.  I make a confession (because I’m really feeling comfortable with these great people!)- We are talking about music and I’m asked what type of music I like.  I say, “Well, I must confess that I feel bad saying this because I am in New Orleans, but while I like most music, I am definitely NOT a fan of Jazz music (my head feels with images of smokey bars, too much lip-stick, and generally, well, too much drinking).”  The room goes quiet for a nano-second (you know, one of those nano-seconds that lasts only a nano-second to everyone else but the last person talking).  The conversation flows again and then my very respectable landlord says, “My husband here (he’s sitting at the table with us) is the Jazz Department Chair at the University of New Orleans!!”  So, now I’m totally embarrassed and wish that the floor would open up and just take me NOWWW!!  But, I’m also laughing!!  I say” Well, you know, I’ve always been a great student and I look forward to becoming better educated about Jazz!”

CHANGE #2- Be aware that even when you think you are open-minded, you probably still have some pre-conceived notions.  If you really want to experience a new experience, go in with a totally open mind (and don’t answer a preference question with absolutes until you have a robust bank of knowledge from which to pull from!) 

More later on the journey ………