Written by: Judy Nast
We just came into Louisiana, the heart of the Creole country. It brings to mind the song “summer time and the living is easy.” Everyone refers to you as the “all.”
Today we took a guided tour following the Cane River and stopped at the Oakland Plantation. This plantation was a smaller, working plantation with enslaved people. When the French first came over the crops were indigo and tobacco. Now the main crops are corn, beans, and a little bit of cotton. There are very few working plantations, mostly smaller farmers. I grew up on a farm, so I’m always curious as to what crops are being grown. Back in the early 1900s, how were the enslaved people able to grow enough to sustain their family?
The Cane River is a very quiet river now. Back in the 1900s, I picture it as being busy, with smaller rafts hauling cotton and tobacco out of the area. At the time it was the main travel way for people and all other items.
We’ve had two day build days with an extremely different focus. On these build days the house was intact but it had been in disrepair for quite a few years, so we were asked to paint it, to give it a “facelift.” There were a couple of things that really struck me about doing this project, 1) our group really got into the painting and put their whole heart into what they were doing. 2) Today approaching the house, we could see that the work yesterday had been very effective, the house looked appealing. It then became apparent that this project could give the rest of the neighborhood hope—hope to work on their homes.