The folks I work with as a volunteer for the AHA invited me to participate in a new program to be announced later today at the Scientific Sessions here in New Orleans. Working as a volunteer moderator for the AHA Support Network has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done between 2015 & 2016. Talking with folks going through what I did, or worse, has given me a chance to look deep inside myself and realign my values. If anything I truly feel gratitude for what each day brings. It’s also given me a chance to look at the people around me and see their strengths and beauty.
This is my first trip to NOLA. I missed my chance to do something romantic when I lived in Dallas like take the Amtrak to NOLA taking in the Texas to Louisiana landscapes and have unknown conversations with strangers along the way because I was “too busy” to slow down. That’s one of those items in the regret bucket which you can’t change. But I finally made it and have met some great folks already, gone for a slow sight seeing run through the French Quarter… which was a little crazy as I was the only one without a cigarette and a cocktail while pacing down Decatur St. The architecture is crazy beautiful as is the vegetation. The people are colorful as are all the shops and restaurants and night time activities on the streets. Toward the end of the day I had a chance to go to a great little vegetarian restaurant called Seed which was fantastic. One Mexican salad, glass of Parducci Cabernet Sauvignon and eggplant Poboy later I headed back to the hotel to call it a night.
I got up pretty early, walked down to Starbucks and then up to the Mississippi where I had breakfast while reflecting on the slow undulating motion of the river. Next up are the Scientific Sessions where I’m scheduled solid from 9 am to 9:45 pm. It’s going be an amazing experience with roughly 14 thousand folks in attendance throughout the whole event.