Day 1 of blogger challenge…What do I miss most about home? That’s easy. Roots. I miss my roots-family, life long friends, and New Orleans culture. Nobody here knows my parents, where I went to high school, or what a po-boy is. Though I call Dominica “home” it is quite different from what I called home for most of my life.
I have eight brothers and sisters and eleven nieces and nephews. My extended family is huge. My first cousins were (and still are) some of my closest friends growing up. I am grateful that I get to go home a couple times a year to touch base with everyone. Thanks to skype, I get to watch my nieces and nephews in Texas and Hawaii grow up via video. One of my favorite things to do via skype is to read books to the young kids in my family online. We both log on to a mutual website that has free books online and read together. Technology is an amazing thing…and I figure internet bonding is better than no bonding at all.
I miss my friends that I have known for 15+ years…you know the kind you don’t have to say anything to and they understand exactly what’s going on with you. Having friends that have seen you through the best and worst of times makes a difference. Here in the Ross community, there is a constant flow of people in and out. Students and staff come and go all the time. You may get really close to someone here and poof they are gone for one reason or another. Every four months there is a couple hundred new students that arrive to the island, so the door keeps revolving and so on and so on. Hard to make new roots here.
Above is the St. Louis Cathedral, located in the French Quarter of downtown New Orleans-an image that encompasses all that is New Orleans. New Orleans has a strong Catholic population and thankfully Dominica does too, which makes things a bit easier here for me.
I miss fresh seafood, which is widely available all day, 7 days a week in New Orleans. When I go home for breaks, I purposefully stay away from chicken because I am in island chicken overload. I eat a steady diet of crawfish, shrimp, and fresh fish just because I have access to it and it is spiced just how I like it.
As I’ve written in some of my other posts about New Orleans, one to two visits to the coffee shop daily to socialize is a common thing. I miss that…sitting over coffee and chicory talking about absolutely nothing for an extended period of time with people who have known me since I was a kid. To this day, most people in New Orleans are still talking about Hurricane Katrina and dealing with its aftermath. It changed the city forever. In the photo above, you can see by the red-painted line on the coffee shop, how high the water got in my neighborhood. I can guarantee you when you go there you will hear something like, “Oh that was Pre-K”, meaning pre-Katrina, while you are lounging at the coffee shop.
…and lastly, I miss beignets (french donuts that are basically fried dough with powdered sugar on top) and king cake (Mardi Gras inspired twisted bread with purple, green, and yellow sugar sprinkles) …two staple delightfully sinful New Orleans traditions. However, I am thankful that I only have limited access to these. There is a reason why New Orleans is one of the most obese cities in the US. The culture is completely inundated with food and eating endeavors. So getting a break from that lifestyle is sometimes a good thing.
Oh wait, I can’t forget about mom’s red beans and rice! Red beans and rice is an every Monday tradition in the city…
So that’s my long answer to a very short question. Stay tuned for day 2 of blogging challenge tomorrow.