Baby Aligators look like little Hasbro toys. I saw one today and I really just wanted to pick it up and hug him. What changed my mind was the fact that he would probably have eaten my face if I touched him. I begin my blog with the above statement to prove a point about how things aren’t always what they look like and that evereything is not always as it may seem. What drove this point home was our visit to the 9th Ward in New Orleans this evening. I had though that the rehabilitation of the area was going well and that everything was better. Why? Probably because the effects of Katrina are not really talked about anymore. People have gone on with their lives, even here. As we were driving the main road to get into the lower 9th, we were looking at the damaged that had been caused by the storm, people were just shooting by us in their cars as if it were a normal day and a regular situation. It appears that those are normal conditions to those who live there. It was sad to see that a neighborhood that was so rich in tradition and heritage now looks like something completely indescribable.
For me to sit here and try to describe it to anyone in a blog is meaningless because there is nothing to describe it. I will say this, there was nothing there… nothing. Sure there were a few families still hanging on to their property and working to rebuild, but for every house that was rebuilt there were 7-10 that were no more. The only things left to remind anyone that they even existed were some gates and steps that led to nothing. The roads were not even roads. Avenues looked like mud pits. And, I believe that the saddest part is that much of the place looked like the floods just happened 6 months ago because nothing was cleaned up and the debris was still laying around. Again, there were just those few resilient neighbors trying to hang on to their homes which, in some cases, is the only thing they have.
Now that I have depressed you, let me add that everything that we do helps and we ARE remembered for it. Our tour boat captain told us today that they would still be underwater if it weren’t for volunteer work. It is important that we do not forget that our brothers and sisters in the Gulf Coast still need our help and that we do not forget about them just because their stories are not splattered all over out TVs anymore. Personally, the things that I saw today will keep them in my thoughts and prayers forever.