Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Katrina Updates

September 17th, 2005 12:54 AM

Delivering Food

From Jason:

Today I went back to Jefferson Parish. I was so moved by what I saw there yesterday I knew I had to go back today.

We went to one house where there were about 10 kids. The oldest was 13. He told me about his experience and I was simply appalled. This 13 year old had to swim his way out of the 9th Ward to get to his family in Jefferson Parish. He was in the 9th Ward because he was with his grandma during the storm. He was able to get out but his grandmother drowned.

We brought a guitar with us today and Dennis played it and sung songs for all of the kids in the neighborhood. It was great to put a smile on these kids' faces if just for a few moments.

I met a black gentlemen from Jefferson Parish who was very angry about everything. He had been beaten by the police a week ago because he was out of his after 4PM!!! That was the curfew time back then (now it is 8PM). The cops dislocated his jaw all for being out after 4PM. The gentleman explained to me how there is actually only dirt protecting the levee in the 9th Ward. They have huge cement walls to do that in Jefferson Parish. He felt that they let the 9th Ward flood to save the French Quarter. He was disgusted by the fact that the French Quarter is in such good shape and the 9th Ward is under water. He lost his house and has nothing.

Just then, a soldier came up with his gun in a relaxed/ready position and his finger on the trigger. I asked him why he was carrying his gun in such a threatening position and he didn't really have an answer for that just that he was prepared for anything to happen. This seems totally crazy to me because we're in a ghost town. What does he think is going to happen? Will garbage blow aggressively by in the wind and need to be taken out?

We left camp this morning in a three car convoy all full of food and goods. After we unloaded all of that we went to a food center in Algiers and re-loaded the cars. We then went back out and unloaded all of that.

Then we went down to a local firehouse in the parish where they have doctors and other army personnel. They were checking people out, giving them food and goods. We asked the fire chief if we could take some of the food and water and distribute it around the community. We explained to him that many of the people in the area do not have the means to get down to the fire house so we could bring some food to them. We were met with a big no. I'll paraphrase but basically the fire chief told us that they wanted all of the people to come to him at the fire house. He would not give us food to give to the community because he wanted them to come and get the food themselves. He told us if we want them to get food and water then bring people to him.

This encounter made me so sick.

New Orleans has been becoming more active everyday I go in. There are more and more cars on the road. What boggles my mind is how much trash is still there. Sometimes the odor that you smell in and around these peoples homes just makes you sick. It is so un-sanitary.

More To Come...

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