Helping others by getting our hands dirty

On the anniversary of hurricane Katrina we recall our trip to the devastated New Orleans in November 2005. This experience will be with us the rest of our lives and for many, they are still living a 24/7 nightmare.   We happened to be on the 2nd Amtrak train to return to the flooded city – only 45 days after the water receded from “the bowl.”  We didn’t take as many photos as we could have during our stay, it made us very uncomfortable taking photos of the devastation because it represented misery, suffering and even death so we limited the photo taking so most of the memories (sights, smells) are etched in our minds. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those lost and displaced by the storm and to those who are struggling each day on the long road back.
Here’s what a reader, fellow traveler (and survivor) from Louisiana had to say:

just found your site from Carla Emery’s book which I have had for several years. I have been making my way through all of the websites in the book and yours is the only one I have spent so much time on. I first was attracted because of the size of your garden and the amount of produce you are getting.
I then saw a note about 6 Days In New Orleans. I sat and read the entire thing and still have tears streaming down my face. You see, I am from
Lake Charles, Louisiana and not only have we suffered the destruction of New
Orleans but we were hit head on by Rita here in Lake Charles. I still am
trying to get my home in order. We have been living with our subfloor for
almost a year now, and I finally have a sofa for us to sit on instead of our
camping chairs. But – I am grateful for what I do have. I bought this little
piece of my “homestead” the spring before Rita hit us so we were still in the
“orientation” phase when we had to leave our home and evacuate. I thought I would be able to start gardening this year but with having to work extra to pay for what we’ve lost that insurance wouldn’t cover, it’s been kind of hard. But I am so looking forward to next year. I am a single mother of two
teenagers and a nurse and decided five years ago after reading Carla Emery’s book that my life was meant to be more than a drain on the earth. I have gradually changed the way of life we live and since the “cleaning out of our home by Rita” I am now able to make those changes even a little quicker. I am conscious of what I purchase and what we create – No Waste!! The one thing we learned after Rita and Katrina was – things are just things, what’s important is the people we love. It’s hard to say that sometimes when I think about an outfit I once owned that I would like to wear and remember it’s gone but I
keep telling myself that over and over – it is the people we love and how we live our lives. I just want to say thank you!! Thank you for your site, the information, your spirit, and thank you for telling your story about New Orleans – pictures on the TV can not actually depict the true devastation of our great state, not just in New Orleans but all along south Louisiana from Lake Charles, Cameron, all the way to New Orleans, Jefferson, and Houma. But We are strong and Louisianans are unlike any others – we’ve always know hardships and corruption by our elected officials and we will survive this like everything else we have survived.

Read our story aboutour trip back… and view thephotos at our photo gallery


Katrina- The Long Road Back {}

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Katrina- A Year After the Storm {}

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  1. gerry medland says:

    Hi Anais,
    there can be no words that fully describe such a devastation as ‘katrina’ on the good people of New Orleans’and surrounding areas.What is painfully apparent was/is the federal response and the inability of ‘supposed.defences to combat such an occurence.As you have often posted,it is to ‘ourselves’ that we must turn to do what we can to deal with the scenarios that are unfolding.On this side of the pond we used to have ‘civil defense’ an organisation left over from WW2,sadly defunct since the late 60’s because nanny state ‘can provide all’We have no ability to halt freak weather,we do however have ability to respond where needed,to encourage and empower ‘the people’to ACT for themselves.I applaud your courage and tenacity in going to the aftermath of ‘katrina’Through the pages of PTF you and your family raise our awareness to a new and practical level.Thank you!