Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Do You Know What It Means...

I am not usually the one to blog this stuff. I am usually not the one to give the Red Cross link and tell the sad stories.

I'm gonna grab this one.

I started trying to reach my friend in Baton Rouge on Sunday night. She is the Louisiana State Director for Youth and Government and we co sponsor the conference paper for National Affairs. I can't stop thinking about her kids.

This year she took two boys from Southern LA who had never left the State. They were had never experienced any sort of National conference and they were overwhelmed. I remember that they would come and check in with her each day.

"Miss Mo, we are so glad you gave us the chance to come, but this is hard, these people are smart we're working hard, Miss Mo! Thank you for bringing us ma'am!"

I can't get them out of my head. I had hoped that Mo might know where the boys landed, if they were ok. I got a message delay from her email system Monday. Today, I finally heard from her. Evidently, she has power, but I know others in Baton Rouge do not. She says everyone is being told to give to the Red Cross. It will be four weeks at least until people can return home, and the shelters cannot hold out.

So go, here's the button...

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We spent the whole afternoon reading of John Howard Griffin living as a Black man in New Orleans in Black Like Me. At the day's end, I heard the story of thousands of refugees climbing out of the water and making their way to the Superdome in hopes of catching a bus to Houston--so they could live in the Astrodome! The Governor of Texas will allow these children to attend school in Texas without residency verification.

Can. You. Imagine. those children showing up in your classroom?
...and which school will get their test scores so that it will be shut down?

While perusing the blogs, I saw the story Scott posted of a guy I knew only vaguely in college. His account of getting out is here (but you didn't need that, because you already read Scott, right? I thought so).

This morning getting coffee, the barista (does barista have masculine/feminine forms?) and I watched the news and he said "It sure makes you think about the wrath of God". I stepped back a bit. "Um, yeah, those people must be almost as deserving as the Indonesians.". Kevin grabbed this idea too.

Teaching was lovely today. Really. It needed to be, there is enough else in the world, don't you think?


Scott Jones said...

Thanks for the link. I had actually, somehow, forgotten Jacob was there. I was just assuming I didn't know anyone in New Orleans. I'm glad he e-mailed.

You know, I never visited New Orleans. Oh well.

finijo said...

I am in Houston and I live about a mile from the Astrodome, so in the course of just running my errands I've seen the busses bringing the people of Louisiana in. One of my good friends has not been able to locate two of her cousins. Another friend and coworker currently has 33 relatives (yes, 33) living with he and his wife and child in their 2400 square foot home here in Houston. They got the children enrolled in school and they are signing up for every bit of aid they can get, but it can't replace a fraction of what they have lost. The adults living with him have already started applying for work here in Houston, but I don't think the economy here is strong enough to hold up under their numbers.

We were flooded by Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, and as bad as that was, we never saw anything close to the kind of devastation that is happening in LA. now. My nephew, who was 8 at the time of the flood, frets that it is going to flood everytime we get a thunderstorm warning, so I think the psychological toll that Katrina will take on the people of the Gulf Coast is going to be massive. I think we will be dealing with the fall out from this catastrophe for many years to come.

educat said...

You are so right, nothing will be the same in that area. My Uncle is on the Houston PD and worked the Astrodome last night. I have worried for him since I knew you all would get refugees because I just know my Uncle would find himself there. I can't get my head around that level of desperation.

As it happens, I suppose I will have to get my head around it quick. Tonight at dinner with friends, I heard that a few thousand refugees are headed here to OKC.