Tuesday, September 05, 2006

October 14, 2005

I have postcards to send, but forgot about them.
Today things took a delightfully interesting turn. 3 of the older folks, R.(one of my drivers), L. (who worked with me a couple times), and La. (who lent me the eyeglasses kit) invited me to go on a sightseeing trip. R.’s ERV (I was on it today) was sent back after just one run, leaving me half a day to do something else. L. invited me, and I said yes.
Luckily, they stopped at Wal-Mart first, where I got my glasses fixed, got some fabulous maps, and some extra t-shirts. The place was inundated with shoppers, being one of the first major places to open in the area, and the lines stretched back halfway to the interior of the store. Only by sheer luck did I end up in a line that no one seemed to know existed, at the far end of the store, and was thus able to get out in less than an hour. Then we drove to NOLA and across the Causeway, the longest bridge in the world they said, that spans Lake Ponchartrain. We then turned east to Slidell, and then back down to NOLA via Rt. 10, which had been closed till today. The part of it that is bridge is actually 2 bridges, going north and south, and the northern bound bridge has great chunks of it missing from the flood waters of the Mississippi.

NOLA 079

We drove down through vast swaths of devastated land across the Bayou Sauvage. There were dead animals---cows, deer, alligator—and broken, flooded cars. A boat lay upside-down by the road; a yacht!! Long stretches of city were vacant.

NOLA 099

Nothing moved. Brick walls were torn asunder.

NOLA 083

I have become so accustomed to wreckage everywhere I look.
So, eventually we turned back north on 610 and headed back to Metairie, next to Kenner, in search of a Steak & Ale the others had been to once before. After a brief sidetrack while lost, we finally found it. What a treat! L. and I had strawberry margaritas, La. had a Bloody Mary and a C & C, and I ate salad (at last! Greens!!) and a Bourbon Street NY Strip cooked in bourbon and brown sugar, with garlic mashed. After the food we’d been eating, it was heaven.
I got plenty of gossip about the bizarre behavior of current and past volunteers, and a sense of how rampant drinking and fucking around are.
What a drag. The place is a mess so far as management, and and now we have even more new people. The place is beyond packed. M., the supervisor, had some kind of nervous breakdown and put J., who came down with me, in charge for 24 hours while he disappeared.
Chaos. Looms.

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