Tuesday, September 2, 2008

THE GUSTAV EXPRESS: NEW ORLEANS TO STARKVILLE - MISSISSIPPI THAT IS!


Starkville Mississippi September 2, 2008

It took us 13 hours in the car to make what was a 5 hour drive. Non-stop. The trusty old Volvo gave out the recnt crankcase gasket repairs abut 1 a.m. on the back roads of Louisiana and Mississippi. About 3 a.m. in the morning I noticed how unusual it was to see so much car traffic on the highways. At 4 a.m. we are pulled over in a garage driveway trying to get some quick shut eye. at 5 am I know we need to be back on the highway or we are going to be sitting in traffic in the sun and I don't think the Volvo is going to make it. At 8 am we are in northern Miss at a rest stop by Alabama cause I have gotten us lost from fatigue. We drive in and there is a sea of humanity - my planetary brothers and sisters sleeping, kids playing, people talking and not for many of us the first time all night in which we can stop and rest.

We get into Starkville - thanks to Nature's friends Doug and Yehshebed we have a safe place to stay. The Volvo makes it on a wing and a prayer into Starkville, we get to go to a few stores. Yesterday the Volvo gives up its ghost as we pull out of the driveway. All the repairs I had done -- the crankcase gasket, the flat tire I had plugged the day we left, the front end suspension, the transmission shifter cable and for the crowning... the brakes failed! Luckily, all this occurred as we were trying to pull out of the driveway and not on the road.

Today we went to a Red Cross shelter to find out about food and if there might be any emergency financial assistance to help with the car repairs. We went to the Red Cross in Okitbeeha Miss -- and the experience was difficult. The workers were unresponsive at best, very nice, so polite - but it came down to a battle of the will to even get the directions written down and the name of the church to go to for meals. And here's the thing, they have everything set up and ready, vans, supplies, etc and nobody is doing anything. And we walk in genuinely in need of help due to the mandatory evacuation. Wow. And this is what I hear as we walk around and the workers are speaking amongst themselves - they have not been given any information about assistance. Yet Governor Jindal and Mayor Nagin say that New Orleanians are not to return yet. Hey what's going on?

FEMA: Gustav: Federal Agencies Support States, Evacuees Aug 30, 2008 ... FEMA has deployed Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) to .... The American Red Cross is already allocating national resources to the ...www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=45589 - 21k - Cached - Similar pages

Yeah, the evacuation went orderly, but there are people who were in crisis before we left, on the edge, and this event has pushed the envelope for many. News is hard to find. I find myself calling and texting my friends to see what they have heard and pass the word around the grapevine. There may have been a tornado uptown around Audubon Park or New Orleans East {notice the bold lettering around the words may have been?} there is some flooding in the Lower 9th but not the upper 9th. There seems to be a news blackout even though we do get CBS/WCBI news, it is hard to find out informative news about New Orleans.

I am writing from the Starkville public library, well cared for and protected. After all the hours and miles of driving, the car died basically in the driveway of where we are staying. That is Divine protection.

Blessings.
your planetary sister in Starkville.

p.s. here is an image I will never forget - the sea of cars before me and behinid me in the dead of the night - the feeling of all of us together stressed, overwhelmed, many going through this ordeal again and trying to keep spirits high - I felt deeply as I was driving that planetary connection.

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