But I did get to play tourist, sorta:
There's been a "leprosarium" in Carville (near my hometown) since the turn of the last century. Other than a similar facility in Hawaii, the Louisiana facility was the place folks got sent back in the day when we felt we had to quarantine people with this disease. Unfortunately, that day lasted well into the 60's.
Here is a semi-recent article about the patients at Carville.
Fun facts about leprosy:
1) It's really called Hansen's Disease. If you have it and treat it early, your toes won't fall off, nor will you become an androgynous preteen rocker.
2) 95% of the population is immune to HD.The folks who get it tend to be exposed via close contact, especially in 3rd world and/or tropical environments. HD is not spread sexually, nor via mother to child.
3) The only animal (besides humans) that carries HD is the 9-banded armadillo. When the armadillo has babies, they are always identical quadruplets.
4) James Carville, the Democrat political consultant from Louisiana, is related to the people for whom the town of Carville is named. As far as I know, he does not have HD.
5) A Carville resident named Betty Martin wrote a book about her HD experiences called "Miracle at Carville" in 1950. It made the New York Times Best Seller list. Today, it is not only out of print, but Amazon does not even list it at all.
6) I read "Miracle at Carville" for a high school Louisiana history class because my mom suggested it. It was only recently that I learned my mom had read the book because my dad's Master's thesis (in psychology) concerned HD patients at Carville and body image. When we went to the HD museum, there was some memorabilia from the doctor that my dad had worked with when he was doing the research for his thesis.
now, feedback time: