Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: stomassetti

NOLA 2014 – Thank You Berklee!

So far in New Orleans the weather is fantastic, and there’s music every where. The group is genuinely jovial and excited to be here. We walked through Louis Armstrong park and were grateful to see something so historic. Berklee is giving all of us an amazing experience! To work on a Habitat site that will benefit the lives of people who may not have this opportunity otherwise is so very rewarding to all of us. “The hotel staff already thanked us for our service for an area that really needs help.” -Erin  

As we went around the city and people asked us where we are from, we heard the same thing multiple times, thank you so much for your service. I recently read an article that says when you are kind to someone it releases serotonin in that person, it also releases serotonin in yourself, and anyone who witnesses the act of kindness also releases it. What an amazing thing we can do for each other.

On a side note, I had two amazing celebrity experiences recently, thanks to Berklee.

First, after the commencement ceremony I removed Jimmy Pages’ ceremony robes (that might sound strange but they are rather elaborate to get into). As I was doing this, he noticed my snare drum and sticks tattoo and asked if I was a drummer. “Of course”, I said, “I’m a rock ‘n roller just like John Bonham.” We talked for two to three minutes about John. After the conversation was over I was in such awe that I don’t even remember what he said! Wow!

Second, after we left dinner last night in the French Quarter we walked past an open air bar, and I just happened to glance through the place and who do I see in New Orleans standing at the bar? Dave Grohl! Another one of my favorite rockers. I immediately took my picture with him and then couldn’t say anything else. I am a huge fan and my mind went blank, again. That’s ok, I am so truly grateful for both of these experiences! Thanks for reading this, stayed tuned for more updates from the team. -Sara T (trip leader and celebrity magnet) ha!

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Hello from New Orleans!

New Orleans – what an adventure so far! The city is incredible, there’s something different on every corner, but we’re here to build a house. The work is difficult and exhausting, it’s been challenging to find the energy to participate in all the festivities happening around us in the evening. Our first day here, after getting checked in to our hotel, which is great, we explored the French Quarter and Burboun Street, all I can say is WOW! I thought I was wild and adventurous, hahahahaha, I’ve got nothing on Burboun Street. Dinner was at the Red Fish Grille, dinner the second night was at Jacamo’s in the Garden District, which is an amazing place where you can dine on the back of a pickup truck or eat fresh oysters that were just cooked on a grill that in the street – yes, I said grill in the street! Hahahahaha, another speciality of theirs is the alligator sausage and crawfish cheesecake, not a desert mind you, but a savory quiche. I didn’t try it, but the others who did said it was very rich and delicious.

Day 1 on the work site, was really difficult. I’m not sure any of us were quite ready for the heat, sun, and level of work; but we did it! Day 2 felt a lot easier and seemed to go by quickly. What I didn’t think would happen so quickly is how the house is taking shape, it is going up so fast, it’s incredible. Today’s highlights featured two random thunderstorms, which is was so refreshing, and a visit from the Danielle the Snowball Lady! Those of you that have been to NOLA know what a snowball is, delicious. But it’s basically a snow cone with any flavor syrup, the ice is shaved so interestingly and then you have to put sweetened condensed milk on it, wow! I hope Danielle comes back everyday! And now for some pics, I love the pic of Becky eating her first oyster and the bunch of nails, yes that mistake came from me, I had to red0 a header to get a doorjam together, that took up most of the morning today!

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