The Fruits of Service

6

October 7, 2020-

It was a very smooth day of travel, and getting back to Prescott in mid-afternoon was a bonus-allowing for pick up of held mail and a quick adjustment from my chiropractor, thus soothing any of the excesses of the past two weeks-in terms of carrying boxes and moving furniture.

Getting to know so many people on a day-to-day basis, over the past two months has been intensely fruitful, in some cases establishing adamantine heart bonds. It has sharpened my discernment, so that a few lingering stereotypes (i.e “Anyone asking for one favour wil eventually ask for cash up front”) have been cast aside.

I have seen the diligence of women on the edge-feeling despair, but not giving up. I have seen the strength of impromptu communities and how the Bayou Diaspora has re-organized itself-standing up to those whose criteria for assessing damage is based on acting far in advance of any judgement rendered- a disservice, in times of fluid and ever-changing situations. Mold needs to be seen as the public health threat it is, for example.

I have seen the ingenuity of Millennials and Gen-Z people, when it comes to adding zest to a potentially moribund program. Evening activities were conducted at least four nights, during my time in Dallas. It was most rejuvenating, to be able to be part of a lively “freeze dance” session, and to help kids who were doing a relay race.

There was, once again, very tight co-operation among the generations, on the part of both volunteers and clients. We would not have resolved a lost child case, without the assistance of two female clients. We may not have found resolution, for any number of unique client issues, had there not been active assistance from others in the Lake Charles evacuee populace.

So, both congregate (communal settings) and non-congregate (hotel-based settings) have been made to work, in this set of hurricane-based emergencies. I will have two weeks, minimum, to focus on other matters, but the trust and the closeness that I feel towards the communities with whom I worked, since August 23, have built both self-confidence and stronger sense of viewing individuals for their true worth.