Coming off a year in a developing nation, I’m not surprised by what I find here along the gulf coast. After all, in Honduras people still remark on damage caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Taxis point out new bridges and neighborhoods that were never rebuilt. Corner store owners tell stories of how life was before, what happened during, and the struggle to get back on their feet. Anyone can tell you how devastating a blow the economy received. In short, Honduras is still recovering. So again, I’m not surprised by what I find here. Not until I pause and remember that I’m no longer in a supposed “developing” country. I’m in the USA and things here are NOT supposed to look like they do here.
Its been over a year since Katrina, and if I can send one message out to the world, out to whom ever it is that is reading this blog right now, it is this: the work here is not done, not even close. People ask about what I am doing, how the re-building is going. Are things almost back to normal? The re-building is just barely beginning. Thanks to the work of all those who’ve given over the past year and two months, and the resilience of the residents, the debris is pretty much gone and the gutting mostly finished. Only now can the re-building actually begin. In the meantime, Persevere is working hard to fill in the gaps by removing perilous dead trees, building storage sheds, starting kitchens for volunteers . . . all necessary projects so that the actual building can begin.