Well, a fair bit of time has gone by since the levees failed. For those most deeply effected, however, the events might as well have been yesterday. The cleanup and reconstruction will continue for years. New Orleans may never be what it once was.
For myself, since my return I've been working one day a week at the local Red Cross chapter. My part of the operation is to review local shelter agreements and conduct building surveys, as well as identify new partners for future shelter operations. I continue to cross-train, and will probably end up as an instructor as well. The experience has changed me. For the better? Worse? Who knows. Some things that used to matter don't anymore. There are things I can't get angry at that I used to. The reverse is also true. It's just a matter of perspective. Will I do it again? Could I? Well;
It's 90 days to hurricane season. Guess I'll pack a bag.
Dale Austin 2006
All images and text Copyright Dale Austin, 1962-2008