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  1. Hi, Lou! Well, I asked about the hot chocolate — they had none — and I ended up having hot tea since I was still shivering a bit from being sopping wet. Alas, it did not occur to me to dunk the beignets in the tea! I’ll have to try that next time. Wanna come with? :)

    Oh, yes, voodoo is a strong and lively religion still. Much like Shintoism, though, it seems to often be practiced in concert with something else, like Catholicism. If you want to learn more about it, I heartily recommend the fascinating book Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn by Karen McCarthy Brown. What makes the book particularly wonderful is that McCarthy Brown is an anthropologist who realized staying disconnected, distanced, and supposedly objective (which is what you’re ordinarily taught to do, despite the fact that it’s nearly impossible to be truly neutral in such cases) was actually harming her studies — and so she took the courageous step of sincerely joining the religion in order to learn more about it, and to have Mama Lola’s assistance in writing her research.

  2. re: beignets: Coffee is the answer to dryness. You may substitute strong black tea or hot chocolate.

    re: mask: Silly me.

    I didn’t realize there were many people actively practicing voodoo. That’s kind of cool.

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