volunteer holding child, from the New York Times, hidden within Flash
My prayers go to the people affected by Hurricane Katrina. I can’t believe that the city of New Orleans is, well, gone. During the tsunami American people gave so much support to Sri Lanka and it made all the difference. I remember when things were really FUBAR here and Americans wouldn’t stop emailing or donating. The fact that normal people on the other side of the world cared so much really made an impression on me. I was reading comment and emails in Moratuwa, but I’m sure that the prayers reach further than that. Been trying to donate to Salvation Army but their server is borked, trying again tomorrow. America had our back when we were underwater so, you know.
My knowledge of New Orleans is largely restricted to Master P, Cash Money Records, Magnolia Projects (per the latter), The Real World New Orleans, and Girls Gone Wild. However it seemed like a cool city and I’d always wanted to visit the other French speaking place in North America. Actually, I don’t want to visit anywhere but I always liked New Orleans. I really liked Cash Money Records before they, uh, sold out. Some of those guys were from Uptown, which is partly underwater now. To quote a letter from the NOLA site (which is pretty comprehensive btw):
Much of inner city New Orleans is filled with indigent or low-income families with no transportation. These people didnâ€™t stay in the city, for the most part, because they were â€œattachedâ€ to their homes. Most have little to attach to and no money or means to leave. Instead, many either rent one side of a shotgun double house or â€œstayâ€ in one of the cityâ€™s five huge housing projects. And thatâ€™s where I had to leave my students: on the second floor, in their neighborâ€™s apartment in the Lafitte Housing Project.
Basically everyone that was too poor or unable to evacuate New Orleans is like herded into the Superdome, and then bused to the Astrodome in Texas. I’ve been stuck in airports for days, but being stuck in a stadium (with stadium bathrooms) just sucks. At the airport you at least have the comfort of your bed and a warm shower waiting for you, but those houses in New Orleans are gone. At the very least water destroys interior walls and everything in the house. New Orleans is under sea-level, so the water has to be pumped out over the course of months. When the levees broke the city just turned into a lake.
Anyways, this blogger Gorjus is posting on his own comments whenever he can and he had the most coherent thing I’ve heard.
I just feel so guilty that thereâ€™s nothing I can do to help anybody. Iâ€™m not a doctor or a nurse and I canâ€™t help anybody. I canâ€™t even donate any towels to the Salvation Army because Iâ€™m always behind on my laundry and theyâ€™re all dirty, along with every other thing I own except for ten French-cuffed shirts and about two dozen pairs of tube socks.
I mean, Iâ€™ll be out of pants, but tube socks? Iâ€™ve got those for days.
I just hate it so much when people die and I canâ€™t do anything at all to stop this.
Seriously, though: if youâ€™re reading this, and youâ€™ve been hurt by the storm, please know that people are worried about you and that we love you.
That’s all I can really say. For all the people who’ve lost loved ones and houses and everything, you’re in my prayers (metta).
note: tried to make a donation to Red Cross, but they’re processing stuff through Yahoo Stores. That has entries for Greenland and Netherland Antilles, but not Sri Lanka. I was going to settle for India but there’s no India either (wtf?). Making it up doesn’t work anyways cause the billing address won’t validate. As of now Sri Lankans can’t really donate to Red Cross even if they want to. Salvation Army allows SL donations, but their server seems overloaded.
Props to Chandare for giving a response from SL first.