Phnom Penh 32 Days of Exile
Now a million people are running from Rita, even while we are still dealing with the gaping wounds and permanent scars of Katrina. At this point more than just the fundamentalists will be thinking that there is something almost Biblical about the pestilences and scourges being delivered upon us. The Katrina death count is now over 1000 and still climbing more than 3 weeks after the storm.
Is there no end to this?
No, seems not.
New Orleans is once again closed off and supposedly evacuated, though that’s increasingly just the advertisement for public consumption. Seems that one thing that the new New Orleans and the old New Orleans have in common is that the “wink and nod” and the ol’ okey-doke still are what works in the old hometown.
Visit to the office this week had a different kind of report to it. Adding another week to the inability to do anything does not mean that things stay the same. No, of course not, it seems that everything gets worse. Heading back to natural selection first brings a kind of fungus to the fray, so that reports from the office now focused on the accelerating growth of mold and a fungus taking root on all of the carpet area. Some were unable to enter some areas. Arguments about whether everything will have to be thrown out began to surface. Salvage versus gut rehab has become the object of debate. And, the office did not get water, but now the rot is setting in and the clock is ticking. Others going the next day were surprised though that it was not worse and that it was as good as it was. Offices on the lake side of the building (north, remember?) were fairly untouched according to these reports. Even some of the downstairs offices on river side seemed not yet the worse for wear. Adding Rita will bring yet more views. The facts are hard to find as the disappointment and frustration with the fight to return home accelerates.
At home the scouts report that black mold is starting to grow. Mildew and mold are nothing new to New Orleans, but they require constant vigilance and full armored battle on all fronts. Desertion in the face of their assault allows them to gain footholds that can be increasingly difficult to defeat.
Add a respiratory issue here and there, and we have trouble in river city, unless we catch a break pretty soon.
The troops are fatigued and morale is gone. Without a doubt Nature has won now, but we still want to salvage our piece of ground on this terrible battlefield.
September 22, 2005