Archive for September, 2006

Back to Columbus

Lora_Said

We’re back in Columbus again.  We arrived yesterday.  The first thing we did (after unloading our car) was to go to Chipotle for some burritos!  I sure have missed Chipotle…

We spent last Wednesday night in Atlanta with my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Henry, then pushed forth to Virginia Beach to spend a few days with my parents, grandparents, sisters and my uncle’s family.  It’s an annual thing, and it was a nice way to get acclimated to the north again and to see my whole family all at once.  (Yes, Virginia feels very “north” right now.)

Mike and I ate dinner alone at our house tonight (the first dinner I’ve cooked in three months!) and since even Kathy wasn’t here our dinner felt so lonely!  I’m used to eating every meal with a team of thirty five and a bustle of activity!

Since we’ve only been back for two days, I still don’t have my mind around our time in New Orleans.  Leaving was difficult and teary.  My Uncle Henry made a comment over dinner about how New Orleans seems to be the one place in America that has really kept its culture.  He said other places used to be known for their various customs and foods, but that most of America has all blended together.  Except the Big Easy.  I think our misadventures there will attest to that!

With half of the population gone, and probably not returning, I wonder (sadly) if NOLA too will lose it’s distinctness as people from all over the country begin to move down there as the city is rebuilt.  Already the city is full of people from all over (like us!) who are working to save it.  I hope they save not just the structures, but the traditions and recipes and vernacular…

Well, I’m not sure if this will be my last post or not.  Does anyone know where I can buy crawfish in Columbus?  I’m “home”sick already.  😉

Add comment September 13th, 2006

Homecoming.

Mike_Said

I haven’t posted much lately, mostly because I’ve been doing a lot of processing about everything that happened this summer.

I am finding myself once again in a place of uncertainty. Some of the most important works in my heart, mind, and life happened down here. I am now leaving something that has become familiar, to go into a future that is unpredictable. It’s something everyone experiences, but no matter how many times it happens, change is often… difficult. I wonder how all of this will affect my life back in columbus. I do know home will be the place to see what sticks and what fades. Time will tell. And though it is hard to leave, I am happy to return home.

And like any good story, there are beginnings and endings. And as this chapter in our lives closes, I am reminded that this is not the end of the story, just the end of the beginning.

Add comment September 12th, 2006

Goodbye, N’allins

Lora_Said

We’re leaving early tomorrow and we said all of our goodbyes tonight.  The church staff took us out for a goodbye lunch, and Mercy Response staff took us out for goodbye dinner.  Right now my stomach hates me.

We’ll be travelling for the next week, visiting family in Atlanta, Virginia, and then Pittsburgh, and we’ll won’t be back in Columbus until next week!  I’m sure we’ll post some reflections on our trip after we get home, but for now I leave you with this:

I’m sad.

Add comment September 6th, 2006

1 Year Later

Lora_Said

I thought I’d post a few pics that I’ve taken over the last week, since it’s a year after the storm, and we’re leaving in two days! This time last year, all of these places were under water.

This first few are from a Hurricane Katrina memorial at Metaire Cemetary. You can see it from the interstate, but we actually went to the graveyard to take these pictures. Each flag has a victim’s name on it. Many of the flags had flowers and other items set beside them.

mem1.jpg

mem2.jpg

mem3.jpg

That area of town is several miles from the Superdome. There were about five or six feet of water there.

This house is in the Lower 9th ward. Though this neighborhood didn’t face the tidal wave-like destruction that other parts of the Lower 9th faced when the Industrial canal broke, it still sat under 12 feet of water for several weeks.
lower9thhouse.jpg

These photos are from last week’s cookout. This neighborhood, Gentilly, had six to eight feet of water in it. The first picture is of Stacy handing out Hope Boxes. People from churches all over the country fill them (there are three categories: Food, Hygine, and Baby) ship them to us, and then we pass them out. We handed out over a hundred in a half hour!  You can see the FEMA trailer park across the street in the background.
hopeboxes.jpg

This photo shows the line for meals! It wrapped around the corner like that the entire evening, until we ran out of food! It was the best turnout we’ve had yet.

line.jpg

This hotel is in Kenner, where our Vineyard church is. Guests are actually staying in this hotel.

hotel.jpg

This church is also in Kenner. Kenner had anywhere from inches to four feet of water.
church.jpg

I liked their sign.  :)

Add comment September 4th, 2006

3 Days, Count ’em, 3

Lora_Said

So… We’re leaving Wednesday morning, but before the sun comes up. We have three full days to go. Because of this, we’ve been busy lately… and so I haven’t posted much. Some random musings:

  • Last weekend we visited my cousin, Kim, in Florida. She lives on a military base and went to the, I don’t know, “Military supply store” and bought us enough plates and cups and silverware to use at the cookout one week! I’m still floored by how much people want to be a part of what we’re doing.
  • The flame of Mordor Norco has been quite high as of late. We could even see it from the highway a few nights ago.
  • During our time down here, we’ve seen four or so nutria (including a baby), and probably six or eight gators (and we watched one do the “death roll”). My favorite animals here, though, are the white, S-necked egrets that hang out at all the canals.
  • In most places, you can recognize a person by their footsteps. However, at the church office here, everyone sounds the same: like flip flops.
  • We cooked an amazing grill-a-thon for the teams this week. Phil taught me how to saute garlic and make some stuffed portabello mushrooms that have changed my life. And… if you let me cook them for you, might change yours.
  • Yesterday we had to throw out some canned meat that had been donated after the storm and because it was stored outside and had gotten rusty and… well… rotten. I was standing on a ladder as we threw it all into the dumpster and… I have never come so close to vomiting from a smell before.
  • There was a team here from Michigan last week and all the guys kept trying to convince me that they have “Saber Toothed Frogs” up there to keep the mosquitos in check.
  • Everything in this city has a yellow brown line across it: highways, houses, the cars (before they were towed away). It’s the water line from the flood… still visible a year later. Every building also still has a spray painted FEMA code on it from when the houses were searched last year.
  • Mike has had several phone interviews from companies fixin’ to hire him. A few leads look quite promising… I think we’re both excited.

Sometimes I get sad when I think about how soon we’re leaving, but I’m trying to just get the most out of every day here… I know we’ll be back to N’allins, eventually. So that helps. :)

Add comment September 3rd, 2006


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