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December 6, 2022 / Jim Fenton

Civil Rights Journey Day 1: To New Orleans

Continuing with our tradition of publishing a journal of significant travels, this begins a journal of our recent trip to the US South, focused on Race, Equity, and American Identity. Posts will be added approximately daily, and are delayed 7 weeks from the actual events.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Kenna and I left today on what will be our first fully-guided land trip. This is a thematic trip entitled Race, Equity, & American Identity that was organized by SV2, a local philanthropic organization that Kenna and I are partners in. The trip was planned and will be led by Telos, an organization that is best described by their mission statement:

We form communities of American peacemakers across lines of difference, and equip them to help reconcile seemingly intractable conflicts at home and abroad.

Telos mission statement

We have had a couple of pre-trip meetings with our group. The group consists of about 16 people, which includes our friends Liz and Peter who expressed interest when Kenna told them about the trip. We decided to leave a day early to get acclimated to the time change, to have some time to re-explore New Orleans on our own, and to avoid missing any of the program on the actual first day.

Our travel today was wonderfully drama-free. The ride to the airport was right on time, we met up with Peter and Liz at SFO airport, and our flight was on-time and comfortable. We got to our hotel, the Omni Royal, in the late afternoon with enough time to walk around and explore. We walked around the French Quarter quite a bit, through Jackson Square, and down to the Mississippi River waterfront. The river seemed to be a little low but not as much as we expected.

While walking around, we read various menus to get ideas for dinner. We were in a touristy part of the French Quarter, so many places seemed the wrong style, too expensive or both. Consulting online resources, we decided on a high-rated barbecue place named Pig Out. It was very small and informal, and the food was excellent.

Having had just a few hours of sleep last night, we decided to turn in early, even considering the two hour time change.

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