Louisiana, Katrina & the Red Cross, Page 16
Monday, October 10, 2005
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It is back to trying to be at the airport 3 hours before my flight. Baton Rouge airport isn't much larger than Hancock field in Syracuse, but since Baton Rouge is still trying to deal with a population twice its normal size, I probably should try to do as told. Caught a shuttle from the church to the Red Cross staging area to pick up my duffel bag & by 7:30AM was on my way to the airport. Again, as usual, there was no line at the Continental check in or security, so I had lots of time to eat a second breakfast & read. Our flight loaded on time, proceeded to the end of the runway, and sat for almost two hours. Seems Newark was socked in. By the time we left, there was no chance of catching my flight to Syracuse so the flight attendant suggested checking with the Continental Service Center at Newark for a new flight. After spending a half an hour in a very slow line, I found out that my flight to Syracuse was still on the ground & wouldn't be leaving for another hour! Finally got home 3 hours late. Guess what? Channel 9 was still waiting to do a "How was your trip?" interview. I was tired, grumpy, & coming down with a cold that made it difficult to talk. Good thing what they showed on TV was mostly voice over by the reporter.

Anyhow, looking back over the past couple of weeks I feel good about what we did. It may not have been as glamorous as feeding people out of an ERV or some of the other Red Cross functions, but we did hand out thousands of dollars to help people start over & processed many thousands of families for checks to do the same. I learned a great deal about a very large recovery operation, met a wonderful group of volunteers & clients, and would do it again in a minute.