I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) booth at an Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP) annual conference.
The IHDI is a nonprofit organization that promotes awareness about hip dysplasia, best practices in treatment, and medical research into hip dysplasia. Because pediatricians screen for hip dysplasia, especially in babies, events like this are a good way to provide information to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who work with babies and children.
I had never been to an AAP conference and I had never been to New Orleans, so this was a very interesting experience for me. With Susan Pappas from the IHDI to set up the booth and show me the ropes, we were soon chatting with all kinds of people who stopped by the booth. There was a lot of interest in the topic of hip-healthy swaddling. People were picking up an AAP paper on the topic, brochures, and a Hip-Healthy Swaddling video that the IHDI created. When swaddling a baby, it is important to leave enough room for their legs to move naturally. Swaddling babies so that their legs are straight and close together increases the incidence of hip dysplasia.
New Orleans is very much a tourist town. It's a wonderful city for walking around, but I wouldn't want to try to drive with all the pedestrians. We were staying in the French Quarter, so for dinner we went to the Red Fish Grill the first night, which was very good. I had the red fish and the double chocolate bread pudding, which I couldn't finish. The next night, we went to Frenchmen's Street and stopped in at The Maison to listen to some live music. Smoking Time Jazz Club was playing. The music was great and there were swing dancers just in front of the stage who were a lot of fun to watch.
One morning when I had some free time, I walked around the French Quarter and stopped in at a used bookstore. There are quite a few. The man behind the counter gave me a handout with a list of bookstores and a map. I scanned it into a PDF, so take a look if you're interested.
The last afternoon before I left, I also fit in a swamp tour outside of New Orleans near a town called Jean Lafitte (named after the pirate). The boat tour involved cruising through canals and bayous, while the captain talked about the swamp and wildlife. All in all it was a nice trip. I'd like to go again someday.