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Re: I finally signed up for Balfa Camp!

All right Maz, you are going to have the time of your life. There are some suggestions I believe on the website on what you need to bring. I went to the 2005 Balfa camp. The weather in April in Louisiana can go either way, so bring a jacket and warm clothing, and bring something to wear if it gets warm. Recording device of some kind is highly reccomended, cassete, or digital. Lots of folks bring video cameras. Get rested good before you make the camp, those late night jams will wear out a person. Dance every night, organized late night jams and lot of the folks in the cabin area will also have jams. Not only will you take a main class, there are lots of other classes in different subjects that you can take. If you can't dance, they will have dance lessons in the evenings,usually right before the evening dance starts. Your cabin will have a refrigarator, so if you have some favorite drinks, bring them. Watch out for the little critters that likes to hang around the cabins. We had a raccoon on our doorsteps several times, but we where lucky to have the kitchen crew staying across from us, they kept the little guys well fed with leftovers.
Have a good time.

Re: I finally signed up for Balfa Camp!

allright Maz!!!! Come on down!! plenty to see and do but it sounds as though your itenerary is already pretty full. I hope to be at Balfa also, but have to take a wait and see attitude until Feb. LA Folk Roots gives a certain number of full scholarships to LA residents. I have just completed the application process, which is finalized with an essay outlining your reasons for wanting to learn more about LA heritage/culture/traditions. Recipients are chosen in Feb. 06. If I'm lucky enough to get a spot I'll post my winning essay. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Re: Do's and Don'ts - I finally signed up for Balfa Camp!


Great that you signed up. It's a fantastic time.


-Rent a car. Outside of NYC and a few other cities, Americans don't ride buses.

-Check out the Blue Moon in Lafayette if you have time. It's a great venue/motel.

-Bring a recording device for the workshops...you won't remember everything once you get home.

-Drink whatever is handed to you by the bonfire, even if it's stale, blueberry wine.

-Be prepared to kill very large spiders, especially the bayou variety, which try to lay eggs in your ear canals while you sleep.

-Beware of the forest -- Last year some nut with a hockey mask killed 4 campgoers, so try not to get too attached to people you meet.


-Sleep, sobriety, Atkins diet, hitting on the cafeteria girls, getting ticks, going to bed before 4 a.m. etc.

Have fun,


Re: I finally signed up for Balfa Camp!

I can't talk about Balfa camp but I have been a visitor to the area and I agree with Nick that you absolutely will need a car. And you will love having it because there is so much to see that is within a short drive! You can easily visit Eunice, Church Point, Mamou, Opelousas etc. etc. Festival International is wonderful, especially the LA Folks Roots workshops. I don't know how it will be for your, but it was cheaper and easier for me to fly into N.O. and drive a rented car to Lafayette than it was to fly directly to Lafayette, go figure. (Of course that was before Katrina.)
My main reason for writing is to urge you to get ahold of Macon Fry & Julius Posner's CAJUN COUNTRY GUIDE it's chock full of information about places you will want to visit--it's indispensible!!! And take the time to visit historic places like El-Sido's in Lafayette, and Marc Savoy's Saturday jam sessions. Go on a tour of Lake Martin--it will be nesting season then.
There's a tiny town, Arnaudville, which has a little etouffee fest the same weekend as Festival International. I went there last year and saw Geno Delafose--now that was an experience I will never forget. You will want to check out a free weekly paper "Times of Acadiana" (I think?) for listing of clubs etc. Whatever you do, Maz, I know you are going to have a wonderful time! I'm just a visitor, and I'm looking forward to reading suggestions from the locals.

Re: Re: I finally signed up for Balfa Camp!

Thanks to all for your input. Anymore input is still welcome. I am taking note of the Guide and Paper that Claude was referring to. There is indeed a lot to see and do, and as I will only be there for about a week, I am planning on going back afterwards.
I am really hoping to have time to do a little bit of driving around and visit Eunice and Iota (Savoy & Miller) among other interesting spots.
Cheers... Maz

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