Nineteen days ago, I started blogging about Algiers. That Sunday – August 28 – was when my childhood friends and “second family” set me up as the external Point of Contact for checking in after the storm. None of us expected that the aftermath of Katrina would engulf our lives so totally.
Over the past 19 days, thousands of people have visited the Polimom blog, looking for information about their overlooked piece of devastated Orleans Parish. New Orleans is a mysterious place to those who don’t know it intimately, and the media showed only devastation there, leaving thousands of panicked evacuees frantic for news. In that first week, information was almost totally unavailable, or just flat-out misleading.
Now Algiers is going home.
The information and discussions in the forums have turned to the “how” of the next steps; What to do about schools? Insurance? The dratted refrigerators? The panic has passed. There’s a lot to do and think about, but before the next phase takes everyone totally away, I want to take a moment to say thank you.
To the people who stayed behind and rode out the storm, and their friends and families - Thank you for trusting me with your fears and hopes. The terrified phone calls in the middle of the night, the worried friends and crying parents with whom I spoke and tried to soothe – all of these demonstrated a faith, and a need, that humbled me.
To the people who strove to get information out – Thank you for helping your friends and neighbors. Those who stayed in or went back, those who are seeking information to share in the forums and/or providing technical support – you epitomize the term “community”.
Somebody asked me yesterday what I’ve been doing “for myself” over the last weeks, to keep myself sane. I was completely stumped by the question, and floundered. It wasn’t until I woke up this morning that I realized why. Helping you is, in fact, what I’ve been doing for myself. Thank you for filling my heart.