Wednesday, March 21

I am whole

Since Katrina I have met so many incredible people who inspire me daily. To continue fighting for what was a home, a life, a WAY of life - when all has been lost. I remain in awe of these people.
And because they continue to fight, so shall I.
Since Katrina, I have been able to put my limited resources to good use - by networking assistance to both the groups who can go help, and to the citizens themselves.
Since Katrina, my life has expanded.
Since Katrina, I hope to continue touching lives, helping those who ask. And yet, I find that I am the one who is touched, who is helped. I may have lost who I was when I became disabled, but through the eyes of those I work with and help, I am whole.
Since Katrina, I began understanding what life was really about.

Leslie Holly
Upstate NY

Fortuna Pertinax Venia
Fortune Favors the Stubborn

Artwork by
Kat Fitzpatrick

Thursday, February 15

How to Submit a Post

Complete the sentence "Since Katrina . . ." and email your sentence, pharagraph, poem, or ramblings to Everyone is invited to complete the sentence and submit it, although I can't promise that it will make it to the blog.

Also, be sure to include how you want to be identified and perhaps even a sentence about who you are.

Monday, February 5

What we still have

Since Katrina I've learned that things can be replaced as long as we have each other.

Shawn Lea of

Thursday, January 11

We Must Turn Tragedy into Triumph

Since Katrina I realize the day (8/29/05) our lives fell apart was also the day our new lives began. Because of the storm we now have a better standard of living. Our faith is stronger, our family is stronger and we have taken advantage of opportunities that we didn’t know existed before the storm. Since Katrina I realize tragedy can be painful, but if taken head on it can be a source of power, hope and vision. Behind the tears must lie the passion to truly “bounce back” better than ever.

Since Katrina I realize that when things are at their worst, we must be at our best. We must turn tragedy into triumph. Our city, our neighbors, our families, our lives are depending on us. The fact that we survived leads me to believe that we are here for a reason, our obligations have not been fulfilled and that our work here is not done.

Since Katrina I must admit I am very disappointed in the government, I was na├»ve to believe that when duty called they would respond. I truly believe that we must be each other’s “road to recovery.” I feel blessed to have learned at an early age not to put faith in man – “Let the church say Amen.”

Since Katrina I miss saying “gimme a two piece spicy white with beans,” and does anybody know where I can get a hot roast beef with Swiss on French “witta lotta mannaise?” Cuz ain’t no mo Gene’s. I truly know what it means to miss New Orleans. “Born ‘n raised” in Hollygrove, now Houston is my home. They once called us “refugees,” now, it’s howdy neighbors when we roam.

Since Katrina I’m an Architect… You’re an architect… We are all Architects… We are all the Architects of our destiny and we can build it how we want!!!

Kendrick Leggins native New Orleanian and former Entergy employee - now a New Houstonian and business owner. Artwork is by Mary Hardy.

Saturday, December 30

I Take Nothing for Granted

Since Katrina, my mind is full but my life is empty. I keep thinking of questions that I feel powerless to answer: Why did the disaster have to go the way it did, with so much needless suffering? Why has the rebuilding process been riddled with ineptitude and inadequacy so that even the well-meaning have been reduced to divisive competition for scarce resources? Will I ever again feel connected to a place or a community? What do I need to do to start enjoying life again? Before Katrina, I suppose I took some things for granted, which is not the most admirable way to live your life. But since Katrina, I take nothing for granted and I find my guarded distrust of the world to be depressing.

Donna Bonner, a native New Orleanian and a cultural anthropologist that lived and worked in New Orleans. She is currently completing an ethnographic memoir of her Katrina experiences.

Tuesday, December 26

My Holiday Greeting

This is the card I sent via email to my friends, associates and family.

Tuesday, December 19

Wiser and Sadder

Since Katrina, we’ve all seen more change than many humans experience in their lifetimes.
Since Katrina, we know what only a few select human beings know, that an entire world can be destroyed overnight.
Since Katrina, some of us cry easily. Others never cry at all.
Since Katrina, we’ve learned how to scream in the face of injustice.
Since Katrina, we’ve gotten used to the fact that our screams may not be heard.
Since Katrina, we’ve accepted loss as an inevitable part of life.
Since Katrina, we are all wiser and much sadder.

Donna Bonner is a native New Orleanian and a
cultural anthropologist now in Austin TX.

Wednesday, December 6


Since Katrina...I know the true face of poverty.

Tiffany Probasco, Assistant to Dean Jonathan M. Tisch, College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University

Thursday, November 30

Old sense of balance

Since Katrina, I want to read more. I'm a person who generally has more books shelved than I have read. It's a rainy day thing. After the storm, I was in survival mode and everything to be done seemed to be required immediately--once I figured out how it was supposed to be done. The pace I have still seems rushed albeit more manageable now. I think the reason that I notice not reading is because it requires a measure of slowing down. I feel--I watch myself rushing and it seems overkill at this juncture where things are coming together. It's like I'm stuck on frantic fast and reading is something that generally I do slowly. Since Katrina I have yet to regain my old sense of balance. I miss that.

Shari L. Smothers, archivist for the Surviving Katrina and Rita in Houston project

Tuesday, November 28

Citizen Journalism

Since katrina I've gained many new insights. For one, the contribution of blogs & citizen journalism to the disaster has truly awakened me to the enormous power & potential of real time, collaborative, personal & social media. Lately I think about how we the people - I mean traditional journalists & ordinary citizens alike -might harness the power of this new form of media to forge new ground in responding to crisis.

Margaret Saizan

Beyond Katrina

Tuesday, November 21

A mature burden

Since Katrina, I have become an 22 year old with the responsibilities of a 50 year old. Prior to Katrina I was a college student with nothing more then my final exams to worry about. My grandmother lived in Gentilly and lost her home of 20 years, and soon after the storm had a stroke. My parents live overseas so the responsibility of care-giving fell on me. My grandmother moved in with me. In February of last year she had a heart attack and had to be placed in a nursing home. Seeing the deterioration of my grandmother has caused me to worry and think about my own mortality. There are many other ways that Katrina has effected my life, but this is the main reason I cant sleep at night.

-not so naive anymore

One foot in front the other

Since Katrina... I have found that at 70 and 'a cancer survivor, I can still pick myself up and put one foot in front of the other and keep going. We lost our home to a slab near the beach in Biloxi. We took nothing when we left on Saturday because the storm was heading west of New Orleans and we thought we would only get 50-60mph winds, ie: limbs and minor debris. We took one change of clothes because we thought we would be returning Monday evening or Tuesday morning and just need to clean our yard. You can't begin to know the feeling of driving down US90, dodging debris and changing from lane to lane, to make it to our street. Once there, we could see all the homes gone! Fifteen to the ground and another eight flooded but standing.
After looking at the mess all we could do was thank God we didn't stay and begin the struggle to regain our lives. I lost everything in Camille in 1969 with 9 feet of water in my house but we rebuilt it and recovered in a couple of years. I was only in my 30's then and it was much easier.
Now, over a year later, we are still in a FEMA trailer (which I am thankful for) and trying to rebuild a house we bought with storm damage.
Yet, after all this, we feel luckier than most. I was able to get a job and we are doing pretty good now. Yes, we miss our pictures, antiques, art, family heirlooms, etc. but in reality, they are only things but they were our things.
God bless all the survivors and success on your recovery.

Contributed by Larry

I hope I am wrong

Since Katrina I can never take my friends for granted again.
Since Katrina I have nightmares of water pouring into my hometown nearly every night.
Since Katrina I have become quieter, grimmer, more serious. I have much of my sense of humor and my hope that the universe is somehow a fair and a beautiful place after all.
Since Katrina I wonder if my dream of ever moving back home to New Orleans is the stupidest idea ever or the most loyal gesture I could possibly make.
Since Katrina I feel incredibly guilty that I moved not long before the storm, while my family and my possessions were unscathed, most of the people I loved lost everything they had or waded through filthy waters for hours and barely escaped with their lives.
Since Katrina my friends are scattered all over the country and I don't know if I will ever see any of them again, much less ever have them all in one place where I can visit them again.
Since Katrina, my community has been shattered, and I think that is something beyond repair, although I hope I am wrong.

Raven's Star

Friday, November 3

The pictures

Since Katrina I have not been collecting pictures. I don’t see the point any more. I still have the ones on my laptop, but the ones that documented growing up and changing, they are all gone. Maybe it's better this way. Sometimes photos let us hold on to the past when we really should be paying attention to the present and creating a future. Loosing my photos was are real hard blow. I want to be able to say to myself "it's okay, they are just pictures," but that would not be true. They were not just pictures when I had them and they are still not just pictures now they are gone. Yet, deep down I have to acknowledge that they are just gone and I am here. Picture that.

Nicole Eugene, blog editor