Rolling with Krewe of Orpheus, Mardi Gras 2011
By Guest Contributor on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
On March 7th, 2010 a jubilant group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and Tulane Master’s International (MI) students took a break from watching from Mardi Gras madness to be a part of it. Organized by the Louisiana Peace Corps Association (LPCA), the krewe had an unforgettable experience walking with the Krewe of Orpheus on Lundi Gras night.
The krewe comprised of seven Tulane MIs (including two returned MIs), 10 Tulane RPCVs, and 32 RPCVs from the LPCA. The celebrants converged at Tchoupitoulas and Napoleon on this slightly chilly evening decked in outfits, representing dozens of countries of service. Onlookers saw patterned headdresses bobbing, and giant national flags donned like super-hero capes. Amidst marching bands with their big sounds and choreographed dancers wearing shiny leotards, the LPCA/MI krewe appeared a happy, messy tribe. Disregarding any thought to uniformity, the group high-stepped it from Napoleon Ave. to St. Charles, making its way down the long stretch to Canal St., and ending downtown at the Convention Center.
Throughout the seven mile parade route, enthusiastic onlookers screamed for beads, which, of course we gladly obliged, thanks to enterprising RPCVs and MIs who came prepared with a grocery cart full of loot. It was also touching and somewhat surprising to hear shouts of appreciation for our Peace Corps service. Perhaps this was best captured when the group approached an intersection and was greeted with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” blasting into the night sky….
Rolling with Orpheus was a chance to be part of Mardi Gras history, and to share with New Orleans the camaraderie and spirit of Peace Corps. It was an unforgettable experience that I’m sure we would all love to repeat. Same time next year, everyone?
Thanks to contributor Joann Lee and to LPCA President Ryan Mast for the providing the photos.