Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Two Years

Two years ago today I emerged from a newspaper building in South Louisiana to find the world turned upside down. Over the next two months I was in and out (mostly in) of the southern end of the state covering Katrina and her sister Rita. It was probably the biggest assignment of my life and although it affected all of us who covered it in negative and positive ways, I don't regret a minute of it.
I wanted to share part of a short essay and a photograph that I made in November of that year on a trip back to New Orleans after the water had receded. It was an interesting trip and I remember hoping at the time that New Orleans would recover quickly. I still hope that, but I no longer see it as a possibility. New Orleans' problems lie outside the reach of it's residents. The Crescent City needs the continued support of the state, the nation and the world to be what it once was... or better.

For more on Hurricane Katrina and the anniversary visit or for more of my photos and blogs from the 2005 hurricanes.

Portrait of a Young Survivor

Children run through the halls of a French Quarter Catholic school while nuns in flowing white habits try to slow the excitement. The warm, humid November air blows off the river and through the courtyard filled with basketball and four square courts. Guided by the enthusiastic cheers of Sister Mary Rose a group of children unload donated supplies and toys from a truck with Indiana plates while a young survivor gives an interview in the corner.

Earlier... a toilet overflows in a bathroom and a nun tells a group of children they must use the one down the hall because this one is flooded. Moments later a young girl, no more than five, tugs on the sleeve of the glowing white drape. In a worry-filled voice the girl asks "Sister Mary Rose... how high will the water get this time?" My heart breaks.


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