Monday, September 12, 2005

Weekend Update

So, we're at the two week anniversary and what happens?? Our power goes out. I don't know how long it was out, but it got to the point where we had to go outside to cool off. It came on some time early evening so it wasn't too terrible. We got to sit outside and watch all the helicopters pass over.

Both LSU and the Saints won! Yay! We have yet to learn where the Saints are going to play. They're still trying to get Tiger Stadium.

Friday night my stitching group had PMS night (pizza munchies and snacks). I got there late, but it was a really good time. I really needed it since I haven't gone in about 2 weeks. As this was the first time we've met since Katrina, there was a lot of discussion about how it's changed things, and what we were thinking about the situation out of New Orleans. We had an "evacuee", I probably shouldn't name her, with us, it was nice to have that additional perspective. I just can't say what this group of ladies means to me. It's just so nice to have a group of people who share my love of stitching and are engaged enough in current events to have good logical discussions (even though most of our talk is not so heavy).

(Interesting, there was a National Guardsman on the radio just now who was on guard in the Superdome during and after the hurricane and he said that the situation in the Superdome is not what it was being portrayed...he said that there weren't any murders and no confirmed rapes...which is interesting since that's what is being said after the Convention Center debacle wouldn't know that by the National Media though. He also said he was shocked at the people's utter inability to take care of themselves.)

My feelings that this disaster will in the end maybe be a good thing for the children of New Orleans was further confirmed. The "evacuee" was a retired school teacher and she said that in her opinion generations of New Orleans kids were being taught to stay ignorant and dependent on the government. She's hoping that by getting all these kids into schools in all over the country it will give them a different perspective and hopefully raise them out of that mentality of needing the government to take care of you.

It seems a lot of the discussion going on today is what are we going to do to help all these people, but at the same time, make them realize that they need to help themselves. A lot of people are trying to figure out where the line is, without sounding cruel. I know people are frustrated. One particular example was that the ASPCA was asking for volunteers to help take care of the animal evacuees that were being sheltered at Lamar-Dixon. One guy asked why the 2,000 human evacuees that were staying there couldn't handle doing something like that. And you have to wonder. The stores can't stay open here because they don't have the manpower to handle all the work that needs to be done (grocery stores shelves are emptied AS they're being stocked) and there are help wanted signs everywhere. I understand that a lot of people don't have transportation, but we do have public transportation here and I'd bet that if 100 people at the River Center wanted to work at Wal-Mart they'd provide transportation.

I was rather sad to see that the debit cards passed out to the evacuees are being abused. However, I can't say I was surprised to see it. You could tell from a mile away that was just going to be a bad idea. Let's see, rent an apartment so we have somewhere to live or a $800 purse...I can see how it would be a real dilemma.


Terri said...

I was talking to DH this weekend about the benefit to the kids moving out of their neighborhoods. I know they'll miss a lot of things, and it does take some longer than others to adjust, but they seem to settle down faster than adults. Knowing how kids are, I cannot imagine how exciting it must be for some of them to see things or go places they would otherwise have missed out on. Just having the education opportunities they'll have now is beyond thinking.

Can you give me any idea what is happening with the elders? We keep hearing about children being separated from their families, and nothing about the oldest generation. I'm very worried about them slipping through the cracks. The ONLY thing I've heard about any elderly is when a somewhat famous person dies. :(

Autumn said...

I really don't know. There isn't a whole lot of discussion about what's being done for them. I would assume that they're being placed in hospitals and nursing homes throughout the country. I would think they're locating family to either take them in or relocate them near their family. There are a lot of private groups that are matching up family members to move people out of the shelters and in with family members or friends. So I would imagine the same thing is going on with the elderly.

Lil said...

All those who have posted here in both posts and comments: I honestly thank you for your candid writing. It truly helped me to understand what is happening in America, not politically so much as socially. I was able to put both 'sides' of this story into perspective.

Good luck with recovering from Katrina.

Tracy said...

I really like hearing your opinion and your side of the story. The reason being not only do I kinda like you (winky but also because of one point that you have been driving home over and over again. The national and the local news (down there) are definitely reporting different "news". It is nice to hear what is ACTUALLY going on and has gone on as opposed to what I am seeing on TV and reading in the newspapers in Massachusetts. It's so much more encouraging to hear your side of the story. It is also so sad that people are abusing those debit cards. I am sure there are people out there who truly are grateful and using them for things they truly need but unfortunately others have to ruin it.

I also like Terri's point about the kidsof New Orleans maybe experiencing people and places they never might have before. You made the point earlier about how bad the school system was there as well and this would give New Orleans the chance to change that. The possibilities for New Orleans are endless now. It is immensely sad that so many people died and affected the way they have been but there are positives and it's nice to hear about those too. ((hugs))

Kristen said...

Today, I had the opportunity to speak with the producers and crew from America's Most Wanted (they film at our hotel regularly) and asked them about what they experienced when they were in New Orleans last week (they filmed the show there last week). They said this was one of the most difficult filmings they have done, both physically and emotionally.

I also brought up some of the points you have been making about the National vs. Local News and how everything is being portrayed. I watched the show on Saturday and liked that they focused on reuniting families and ACTIVELY helping some people find their loved ones. Not just reporting about it. I also liked the piece they did about the toll the storm has had on the police and firefighters in the devestated areas. National news is so caught up in the blame game and comparing PD and FD response to this disaster to 9/11. There is no comparison, many of the brave people have lost everything, some have even lost family and they are still working, protecting the citizens in the Gulf Coast. NYPD & NYFD were/are extraordinary people, but they were the ones in danger, they did not have the emotional burden of wondering if there loved ones are okay, or losing everything they owned.

I'm curious as to what follow up stories they are going to do...