In preparing for the trip I have been trying to find up to date blogs from people who have volunteered in New Orleans. It's been tough.
..people who come down here to volunteer seem to sink into this 'black hole' once they arrive here -- calls are rare and the phone lines are difficult; updates sporadic and disjointed......those who are outside of this 'black hole' find themselves trying to sort through bits and pieces of informtion to get a full picture of what is going on..
I did find a livejournal called Jenka's Journal
where the above quote comes from. The stories told there are pretty bad. Yes, it's a blog by an angry young socio-liberal-communist-hippie-fight-the-man type and yes he does espouse some of the conspiracy theories that are popular (i.e. the 9th ward was intentionally flooded by blowing the levees) which I don't believe in but his first hand accounts are pretty powerful stuff. Go take a read. It will make you angry again, but thats good because we should not soon forget how we as a country fucked up.
I have also grown upset with the Red Cross, an organization that I have generally supported all my life with both donations of money and blood. I'll still donate blood, but money? No. Go take a look here
and then go hug some bunnies to get your blood pressure down. The Red Cross does good work, but they could have done much more.
I started packing the van today. Doing shows for many years has tought me how to pack efficiently. Even after loading in two cases or water, tools, cleaning supplies, food, tent etc there was still a good amount of space left over. Rossana asked if we were going to sleep in the van on the way down and I considered it. But I'm 37 now and don't sleep as well in cars as I used to. I also want to arrive in Biloxi somewhat rested and not stiff and tired. We'll find some cheap motel to stay in for a night. I'll use the spare space to take an extension ladder and a wheelbarrow. Hands on USA says they have most everything needed, but I want to arrive self contained and ready to go.
I'm actually anxious to get started now. But I have to get as much business stuff out of the way as possible. I need to start booking shows for the winter and spring. We got an email saying the SCA event Gulf Wars down in Missisippi is happening this winter, but what kind of en event will it be? I heard that a large portion of the camp was basically destroyed. Will any local people show up? Cost-Con is gone. I saw the hotel we were supposed to stay at washed up and wreaked on the beaches of Biloxi.
The best news so far is that the gas fund is doing really great. Thanks to the many donations we've reached the $400 mark. I forgot that paypal grabs a chunk of every transaction which sucks, but we're at least good for fuel. If you still want to donate, please do. As I said any money left over will go to Common Grounds in New Orleans.