There is still time to sign up for the Rotary Friendship Exchange to southern Louisiana April 15-29, featuring Friendship time!

The Exchange visit coincides with the best time of the year to be in southern Louisiana:  flowers are at their peak and temperatures are comfortable. Your team flies into New Orleans on Wednesday, April 15, followed by an evening social. Other activities may be arranged depending on flight schedules,

Thursday will include a city tour, a visit to the National World War II Museum and a stroll through the Vieux Carre … “the French Quarter.” An evening of entertainment and history with the Preservation Hall Jazz band can also be arranged.

Friday begins three days on the coast of Southern Louisiana centered around the town of Houma, the heart of “Bayou Cajun Country.” this ecologically unique region features hard-wood swamps and brackish marshes as well as sprawling sugarcane plantations. A swamp tour, plantation visit and little Cajun dancing are on the agenda, as well as an up-close look at Bayou Mardi Gras, the largest celebration outside New Orleans.

The next three days  (Apr. 20-22) will be spent in southwestern Louisiana at Lake Charles, the fifth largest  city in Louisiana and about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. An industrial center for chemical, oil and gas companies, Lake Charles is also the mini-Vegas of the south with numerous, modern casinos along the waterfront.

You’ll also stay in the heart of “Acadiana,” the name Cajun’s called their new home, April 23-25. You’ll visit Vermilionville, an authentic Cajun village uniquely preserved and take part in Festival International de Louisiana, one the largest music festivals in the state.

On April 26-28, the team will travel to Gonzales, just south of Baton Rouge.  Known as the “Jambalaya Capital of the World”, this region, as well as all of the regions on the itinerary, is known for its music, culture and food.  On April 29, the team will be transported back to New Orleans for a return trip, or an extended visit to take part in the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, better known as Jazz Fest, which is celebrating its 50th year of New Orleans culture, food and, of course, music. It is being held April 30-May 3.

If experiencing a unique culture while enjoying great music, food and fellowship is for you, then sign up. We can host five couples or singles. Contact Camille Ronzio  at ajr60@comcast.net.

More happenings for Rotary Friendship Exchange:  Applications open for Capetown area of South Africa as well! Look for information in the future about this trip.