Really? August 29th 2012 was my last post?!
So much has happened since then. It will take a while to catch up but I’ll hit the highlights and have committed to my paramour to get back on track with the blog writing so hopefully more details will follow soon enough.
Hurricane Issac – I volunteered from August 27th through to about the 25th or 26th of September. A brief time off to refocus on the PhD and then came news of Hurricane Sandy. I could never imagine how much a hurricane could change my life; maybe I should learn to call it Superstorm like so many others do.
I deployed to New Jersey with the American Red Cross on October 20th and ran shelters for 2 weeks. Large, full-scale evacuation shelters; the first and the last with next to no staff. Then did a month in Community Partnerships travelling across the state, all along the coast. I went back to Louisiana on Dec 8th; 6 weeks in, exhausted but the operation was shutting down that weekend. Arrived late Saturday afternoon; was called Monday to go back because the relief operation was reinvigorated. My luggage hadn’t even arrived yet so I begged a week’s grace. Worked a shelter in nearby Walker for a tornado response on Tuesday. Luggage arrived Wednesday so I did laundry, saw friends, caught up on life and repacked. Flew back out on the 20th of December intending to stay 2-3 weeks maximum. Didn’t go back to Louisiana until March 17th – that’s right 13 weeks. In total, I spent 130 days in New Jersey. It was the best of times; hard work but oh so rewarding.
I ended up leaving a week before the formal operation wound up because my passport was about to expire and I thought that the Toronto side of the border was a better place to be when that happened.
I’ve been back since March 25th and so much has happened. I’m slowly adjusting, culture shock hits me hard sometimes. I’m working full-time filling in a mat leave as the Project Coordinator at the Canadian Homelessness Research Network at York University.
So much more to say…but it’s going to come out slowly I think. The blog should perhaps be renamed too – Toronto2NOLA2Toronto, but no matter where I am there are always pieces of my heart elsewhere.