6:45pm -waiting for the band to start at Pont Breaux (formerly Mulates) in Breaux Bridge- tent set up at Acadiana Park Campground in Lafayette- this is my 8th or 9th time there, or maybe 10th – it’s a nippy 65 degrees! 

The band at Pont Breaux:

steel pedal, accordion, drums, and electric base –

I leave early to squeeze in a few dances down the road from Pont Breaux at La Poussiere ( which means,”the dust”):their  band is accordion, fiddle, acoustic guitar, drums, steel pedal, two electric base, and amazing vocals!

Will write more in the morning – so wonderful to hear this incredible music again since Mardi Gras week last year!

(my sweet home for the next three days)

Update: there was no need for finding a car wash after leaving Mustang Island this morning because the heavens opened up with a brief but wild storm last night, and all the slimy salty brine smearing the windows was washed away! 

I start seeing signs for fresh crawfish and Cajun cooking- so fascinating to witness on a trip like this how the regional differences change and crossover as I roll on down the road- whether it’s accents, food, music, dance styles, crops, the geology….

I hear on the radio that His Loathsomeness has signed an Executive Order granting to “promote and vigorously promote religious liberty” and my brain immedately detects code words- a little research informs me that his intent to “destroy”(such language, Donald!) the Johnson Amendment is apparently not even doable, as Executive Orders cannot overthrow statutes – and dang it, doesn’t the phrase separation of church and state even matter  anymore, can jargon such as “to ease restrictions on religious political participation” occur without anyone noticing? It goes to the Senate now…and done on The National Day of Prayer, no  less- never in my 60 years of life have I been more embarrassed and honestly frightened by what having Mr. Trump as our country’s leader says about this nation and about our political process –  (never mind the fact that only 59.7 percent of eligible voters voted in the presidential nomination- I just researched that- I had thought it was 43 percent, actually)

As I  near Houston, I pick up several Indian radio stations playing beautiful exotic tunes – and some killer  Spanish-language stations, playing boleros, mariachi, salsa, cumbia, tropical, ranchera, accordion waltzes, Veracruzano, tangos  – I am loving this! I hear ads from lawyers saying ” en estos tiempos de odio y racismo…”(in these times of hate and racism)  And then I hit downtown Houston traffic!!! I do believe only  Mexico City and Boston rival in terms of the anxiety this causes in me- I talk myself through it, breathe a lot, and repeat “you got this, you got this, you got this” (well, I suppose having my rental car washed away by high tide on Mustang Island might have been worse) Even the McDonald’s billboards are in Spanish only – it’s noticeably cooler today, barely tops 72, and breezy,  much less humid – 

I cross a river called (really) Old and Lost River – sugar cane and crawfish farms begin dotting the landscape – what a fascinating farming crop rotation: rice and crawfish – signs advertising the “best boudin in Acadiana”! – then after crossing the Sabine River, it’s “Bienvenue a la Louisiene”! There are many signs of recent flooding- tractors parked out in the middle of water-covered fields, water covering entire yards and up to the doors of homes – a woman at a rest stop tells me on Wednesday, the area had golf ball-size hail! I always give a shriek when I finally pick up KBON, the local Cajun radio station in Eunice- Cajun, swamp pop, and zydeco- and classic country, too – the DJs are bilingual French/English-I try my best to revive my high school French-the official weather forecast for the weekend is “spectacular”!!

Right after I set up the tent I get an email from Peace Corps giving details for our staging in Philadelphia on June 11!!! Also flight info- will be a nonstop from JFK airport to Johannesburg, then onto Lusaka!  I am to contact the PC travel agency ASAP to book my flight from Roanoke to Philly! 

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