Thursday, September 08, 2005

Rindge, NH (EDT!!!)-- HOW DID I GET HERE?

I am in New Hampshire.

That's right, Katrina swept me away from my cozy home in the Big Easy

to

Baton Rouge

then

El Paso, Texas

and NOW

Franklin Pierce College in Ruralruralruralruralrural
RINDGE, NEW HAMPSHIRE.

Why? Because my family doesn't have money to give me, and the folks here were very gracious and offered to not only help me with tuition, but also to give me housing, food, books, and winter clothes.

When I arrived in the Manchester airport, I was met by the Provost of the college, two newspaper reporters, and one TV camera. The TV people found me "amable," and followed us from the airport to the college, about a half hour drive. Turns out I got a minute long spot on the local news today. I also did two radio interviews...

I'm famous, probably the New Orleanian in New Hampshire.

It is beautiful here, and I am very very happy to be here, although sometimes I cry and miss my friends and my city.

Thank God I found one small bottle of hot sauce (Tabasco, woo woo!) in the cafeteria.

And, thank God that: I have a great schedule of classes, the kids are pretty intelligent and engaged, and the teachers are working with me, and the housing is good, and the people are sooo nice...

So much for all my stereotypes about Yankees... even as I write two people have come up to me, people from the cafeteria and from class, and asked me how I'm doing and made me feel good about everything.

Within a fifty mile radius of this beautiful campus, Thorton Wilder set Our Town, Thoreau wrote On Walden Pond (one of my favorite works EVER) and RW Emerson composed North of Boston and the very famous "Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I tooked the one less travelled by..."

Yes, I have certainly taken The Road Less Travelled-- we took several, actually, to get to this campus.

This is so different from what I'm used to... there are 1600 kids at this school, and 98% live on campus. The campus has a lake, and there are kayaks and canoes I can borrow like a book from the library. In the winter, the mountain will cover with snow and the lake will freeze, and people are already trying to convince me to ice skate, and to grab a tray from the cafeteria and sled down the mountain with them--hey, that's what they do for fun around here. I guess they do it because KEGS ARE ILLEGAL. WHAT! At Loyola, we SPONSER parties with kegs for seniors-- it comes out of student fees! But I've gotten the downlow-- the key is to bury the keg in the snow, so no one can see it...
WHERE AM I?!?!

I am in Ringe, New Hampshire, embarking on an adventure I would have never imagined for myself. Katrina blows my mind.

If you want to call me, you can try my cell phone... but it might not work because I'm in the middle of the woods and service isn't great. Or you can call 603 899 4100. My extension is 3848.

I refuse to change the posting time from Central to Eastern, just to let you know.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Mom is SAFE!

They evacuated her from Charity Hospital and she'll be with us in a couple of days!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

PRAYING FOR MY CITY- PLEASE READ!

New Orleans is underwater. I can't even breathe when I look at the photos; my beautiful city is on fire, submerged, drowning. Over a million people had to leave their homes-- most of those people will have no homes to go back to in the end.

MY MOTHER, A NURSE, IS STILL TRAPPED IN CHARITY HOSPITAL. Patients are dying around her without their necessary machines, she hasn't bathed in days, is eating very little. Garbage is stinking, it's sweltering and dark, most of her nurses know their houses are under up to 10 feet of water. 10s of thousands of people need to be evacuated from the city in boats and buses. Meanwhile, she says the floodwaters are full of glass shards from broken windows, and stink of sewage and dead people.

Thousands and thousands of people are missing. 504 cell phone numbers are recieving busy signals, and families can not get in touch with one another. Finally I am hearing that my family is safe, although I know for a fact that my Grandma's house is totally underwater. I'm not sure about mine.

People are dying in the city! WATER FOOD CLOTHING is needed. We can't even think about saving the city for months, what's important now is to SAVE PEOPLE! If you have money to give to help rescue efforts/ emergency shelters, a house where refugees could stay please give! The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities are all in need of financial assistance. Please please please help!

For now, my little brother, father, grandma, dog, and myself are all safe with my uncle in El Paso, who has generously taken us in... so much for my senior year of college, we won't be able return for at least months... but I'm safe, so I'm lucky.