Saturday, January 28, 2006

Knitting and Levees...

I have been one of the world's laziest bloggers lately. I keep meaning to write but then have these great ideas of what I should write but get overwhelmed by the effort it will take to write them! So tonight I was inspired and decided to just type already!

You will notice my blog has somewhat morphed into writing about New Orleans... Well today's post will be both knitting and New Orleans related.

For those of you who are interested in hearing more about the current situation in NOLA head on over to Tim's blog. He speaks from a personal and political (how can the two not be mixed on the issue of NOLA these days) view on things there. He has moved back to New Orleans with his wife and child after having had their home ruined by the flood. To me his posts really reflect the reality of the situation in the city. He makes many good points including that to rebuild the city New Orleans needs IMPROVED hurricane protection. They don't just need the levees to be rebuilt - things need to be improved. Our government needs to hear this loud and clear from all of us... A band aid just won't do the job!

Now on a knitting note Ray has help to organize a wonderful project called Bundle Up New Orleans. Head on over to the site to find out how you can help just by knitting warm items such as hats, scarves and mittens for the people in NOLA who so desperately need something warm at this time of the year. When I was there two weeks ago I was surprised by just how cold it really is. It was cold and windy and I didn't have a hat or scarf but so wanted one. I now have one hat ready to go and need to look through my stash to see what else I want to make. Please please join me!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New Orleans is Alive (well some of it anyway)!

So I meant to blog everyday while I was here - but obviously that hasn't happened! Today I actually shouldn't be blogging as it has been a kind of crappy day - but I had one happy thing to share with y'all - I picked up some yarn at the LYS so that I could make another clapotis (yeah yeah so I am not finished with my first one yet) - The yarn is a lovely hand dyed wool and I got a colorway that is grayish/bluish - I don't have the ability to take a good pic at the moment but when I do I will post it for y'all! (Notice the southern twang!) :)

I am super tired as the work has been very draining today - and note to self - if coming to New Orleans in January bring more pants - what were you thinking packing so many pairs of shorts!

Hey everyone - by the way - COME VISIT! They need you down here!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back to New Orleans

Happy New Year to my few readers!

I have been having a difficult time keeping things updated on here - I went on my Caribbean Cruise vacation, got back and attempted to get ready for the holidays and then actually survived the holidays, and finally had to get ready for another deployment to New Orleans.

This time I am staying in the city itself and working on the cruise ships housing first responders (police, fire and city workers and their families who are from New Orleans and have had their homes destroyed). This experience is only beginning but is VERY different thus far from my first time here. In some ways it is similar - things are sort of confusing and plans change by the minute - for example I thought I would be working with children but now it looks like I will be working more with adults. I also thought I would be on the ships in New Orleans the most but now it looks like I will be in St. Bernard Parish which is just outside of NO and was also hit VERY badly.

I had many feelings coming back into the city yesterday - I hadn't been here since my vacation in November 2004 and things are different - but the odd thing is that the touristy area of the city isn't that changed. If you walked out of my hotel right now things would look pretty regular. The streets are filled with cars and people are out walking around - it might look less busy than usual and some of the businesses aren't open, but it all looks pretty functional. The same can be said for MUCH of the city. There are many houses, businesses, schools and public places that are still here and open. The New Orleans Tourism website is great! It lists many restaurants, hotels etc and tells you who is open - I would highly recommend it!

Today was a day of running around - trying to get a rental car (but of course the "system went down" and they had my reservation wrong in the first place), getting a badge (wait in line...). We also went on a driving tour of the city and saw the incredible devastation that has happened. Now remember there are MANY areas of the city that are doing well. Despite what the media has shown us New Orleans is doing a great job functioning. I haven't been down to the French Quarter yet, but I hear that area is mostly open. However there are areas that have been destroyed for sure. A wonderful resident of the city who is also a psychologist working to help the first responders showed us all around. We took many pictures - though I have to admit that after awhile seeing so much devastation - everything starts to blurr together. Home after home destroyed. Someone told me that it looked like a bomb went off. They were correct. Entire neighborhoods - communities - gone.

I am looking forward to getting on the ship more tomorrow. And to sleeping tonight!

I leave you with some pictures of what we saw today... the bad parts - I will have to take some pics of the good parts while I am here too... (I seem to be having problems uploading to blogger- but if you go here you can see my photos).