On the way back working for a teachers in-service for a bunch of educators and teachers, (I love being a education motivational speaker!)I got caught in a freak storm that shut down Colorado’s main highway. As the hotels were already full, I ended up in a Shelter (small church) opened by the Red Cross.
It gave me a terrific amount of insight on the evacu-gees from the Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita.
I learned a lot from my not so funny experience. First, I learned that as icky as it was for me — and it really stunk — I knew it was hundreds of times worse for the folks in Louisiana. I showed up to the shelter with a horrible headache, but I had plenty of food and water. I had never previously thought how the folks who showed up at the Super Dome and the Convention Center in New Orleans must have ARRIVED in fairly bad physical shape. They must have been exhausted, dehydrated, and hungry. And of course they must have been stressed out big time.
My experience was lousy, but at least I started out in pretty decent shape. They must have just been a wreck. I was in a huge room filled with 80 very LOUD snorers. Sleeping on the main floor in the center court of the Super Dome with 800 loud snorers must have been hell.
And of course I was only in the Shelter for about 24 hours, and knew all along that my stay was temporary. I had plenty of hope for things getting better in the near future. Which of course is very different from those in Louisiana.
I had a horrible experience… it wasn’t fun, I felt lousy, and I generally had an icky time. And of course I was in great shape. But the good news is that I knew (and learned first hand) just how humor-less our Southern neighbors had it.