First Day Impressions

I came into this project completely open. I have never been to Louisiana before much less the gulf. I’ve never heard creole or had authentic Cajun. I have no idea what to expect. I just know that I believed in what Brandon was trying to achieve and I wanted to help him do it.

As we drove further and further into Louisiana, something started to shift. It was subtle but palpable, a mood kind of set in. After mooning my team membersĀ  on the road (which we thankfully don’t have pics of) and chowing down at a Cracker Barrel with Halloween costumes, the tone changed from a fun road trip to something more humbling. I found myself suddenly confronted with the reality of why we were there. Something about seeing the people, hearing the cicadas, smelling the land, observing the dark, still water, all translated into an energy that said “This is real”.

This trip is not about pushing an agenda. It’s about connecting to the lives of the people who live here, and documenting how this vastly disruptive oil spill is affecting these individuals lives. And while I had seen our mission statement on paper, something about being there, made it plain. We were tapping into something bigger than just another conversation on oil policy. We’re giving voice to the humanity behind this “event”.

There was this one encounter we had while driving in, where we came to this really interesting intersection and decided to stop on the side of the road and take pictures. While we stood out with our cameras and iphones, setting up tripods and taking video a Creole woman named Gloria came over to asked us Why we were there. While her initial approach, was one of protectiveness by the end of the conversation the vibe had changed. The way she wished us well on the way out all told me that we couldn’t fully articulate why were there.

Ostensibly, it was to carry the stories of the people of the gulf back to our friends in Atlanta and beyond.

But in truth, it’s for something that is too big to grasp at this moment. Day one, the fun has just begun. Continue to follow the journey.


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08 2010