Monday, February 2, 2015

Louisiana: My temporary home base

Joe, Daniel, and Kat in Freetown, Lafayette, Louisiana

My temporary home base is an airbnb place in Lafayette's Freetown neighborhood, which by the way, is less than a mile from my 2014 Lafayette apartment.

I first heard about Freetown when I drove down Johnston Street shortly after I moved to Lafayette in late 2013. I saw a colorful food truck that said "Freetown Fries."

Later I learned that Freetown was an early neighborhood of Lafayette (pre- and post-Civil War), home to gens de coleur libre and of men and women who were formerly enslaved and subsequently emancipated. 

Freetown is adjacent-ish to downtown Lafayette.

My airbnb hostess is Kat, Joe is the resident cultural attaché, and Daniel is a regular guest. I'm pretty sure I laughed when I met them all within my first hour of arrival, because the experience was so typical of South Louisiana - running into such interesting people.

Joe is a storyteller, anthropologist, cajun dance teacher, journalist, and ghost writer. We've discovered we know a number of folks in common.

Daniel is a sustainable fisherman and maritime professional. He grew up near the Salton Sea. In the photo above, Daniel is presenting the ceviche he'd just made. Delicioso.

Kat is a freelance copywriter and entrepreneur. Like a number of people I've met in South Louisiana, she only intended to stop a night or two in Lafayette - she was on her way to New Orleans from her home town of San Diego - and kept postponing her departure until she decided to rent a house in Freetown. To help pay the rent, she drew from her experience working at a hostel and became an airbnb host. I'm not sure Kat has made it yet to New Orleans.

Tonight, Joe doctored up two pots of gumbo that were birthed several days ago - one a gumbo vert with smoked ham and various greens pulled from the refrigerator and the other a chicken and sausage gumbo.

Two Chinese petroleum professionals are here for several weeks learning about the operation of some new equipment.   

South Louisiana is grand.

But damn it's cold this week! Where is my warm weather?  

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