Change Break: Florida

Today’s post comes from Elisa Allen. She is a member of the class of 2017 from New Orleans, LA and is majoring in Marketing.

Driving into Florida Saturday afternoon was a beautiful sight. Our van erupted with laughter at the sight of dolphins leaping through the Gulf. After sitting through riveting environmental discussions and taking everything into perspective, it was a sad thought to think that what if in a few years others didn’t get to drive into places with the same beautiful greeting. I’m glad that on this trip not only was I able to do something impactful but I was informed on how to do more and continually help.
Elissa Marie Allen (painting here in gold cap) paints part of the battery at Fort Pickens National Park in Pensacola, Florida.
Our team started off our trip in Pensacola, after a four hour drive of team bonding it was nice to reach our destination: campsite Fort Pickens. Well, technically it was the back-up campsite, we moved around a lot during the trip. We started off our work restoring Fort Pickens battery monuments, painting and cleaning the tour sites in the National Park. Finishing up there efficiently we went into the next day ready to tackle some trash. You would be amazed at the sight of all the trash that litters the beach; we definitely were. Working all day in the hot sun was exhausting, but camping less than a mile away was convenient. We ran into a bit of a storm, but the Park workers came to our rescue. I like to think it was good karma; we were saved from rain because we were doing what we could to make the place better.

We left the rain for Tallahassee Tuesday morning. There was a trend with the animals in Florida because this time we were greeted by a kid–that is a baby goat. We were shown around the magical Lichgate property that we had the pleasure of residing for the rest of the trip, than a tour of the SanLuis Mission our next volunteer project. The plan was to start working the following day but after finding out how much work was to be done we jumped in right then and there to prep. Working at the SanLuis Mission was such fun, despite all that had to be done. We worked the organic gardens weeding and planting and so much more. Being able to work with all friends, which is what our team came to be during this time, made everything so much better. Our work as well as everything else we experienced in Florida really inspired all of us to spread what we learned back into our community here in Baton Rouge.

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