The power of our human network is strong-and information technology only helps us coalesce. Everyone knows about the “six degrees of separation,” right? Once you live in certain town, work for certain institutions/causes or just travel enough- I think that rule becomes, “three degrees of separation.” Between my friends, scooter boards, and the “P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER PIT CREW” I am winding up with some great places to stay and wonderful hosts. My friend Jaymii from Asheville, NC contacted her friend in New Orleans, who also used to work at Omega, but not when I was there. Rebecca is my lovely hostess this week-and because of this, my visit has actually stretched a few days longer than originally planned. She is relatively new in town, having moved here for her own anthropology research project and we have fun exploring together.
The conversation has flowed from the very beginning, as I keep pleasantly discovering it does with most New Orleanians. We both get to support one anothers projects and offer suggestions. The documentary aspect of this project is becoming clearer and I feel more comfortable with my role behind/in front of the camera. Rebecca also has a lot of information and opinions about the travesty here and the reconstruction process. I am telling you, there are so many levels of daily life affected here-no one could be prepared for the resulting circumstances. This means a strong community solidarity must demand its government, all branches, serve the people. Today I want to offer this photo to you, as a tribute to the loss my host’s family experienced. I didn’t snap it, the photo was actually taken by Thomas Dworzak and published in Time Magazine-Rebecca’s family didn’t know about it until they saw the cover. Imagine the survivors and evacuee of NOLA, people stuck in attics or rooftops four days and longer-with helicopters passing them by- all totally in the dark about their future.
I am now headed out to Common Ground, a bit of a haul over to the Ninth Ward. I finally found a route that will take me on a scenic drive through the city, versus stuck in traffic inhaling exhaust for 45 min and leading to a big drawbridge! I filled up when I came into town on Tuesday and am already on “E.” Thats 150 miles!
Later on today, the Satchmo jazz festival starts, so I will experience some free music tonight and tomorrow before heading towards Shreveport tomorrow afternoon. New Orleans, ah me.
I conclude with these two other infamous pictures below, that capture someone coping through the trauma, a bit of dark humor that symbolized the attitude of recovery here, they are reposted with permisson.