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Oct. 3rd, 2005 @ 11:01 pm let not the right hand know what the left is doing
So it looks like I might be going with a group of student Common Ground members to help rebuild New Orleans this fall break. Since their needs change every week, and the situation over there is in a constant state of flux, it really depends on whether or not they need me. If they need seven volunteers, we're sending seven volunteers. If they need zero, we don't go. The skillset I gave them suggests I'll probably be fixing computers or lifting crates or speaking to people in Chinese, but who knows what they might need me for. They want carpentry and first aid skills, which I do not have. We'll see how it goes.

The girl organizing the trip--really just a loose group of students and student organization representatives at this point--warned us that it will be forty hours a week of backbreaking heavy labor, and will be deeply traumatic. Every now and then, volunteers flip out and have to be sent home (which is a reason why they need us in the first place). One member of Common Ground was beaten by police and falsely detained on grounds of burglary and resisting arrest, and he was released the next day without charge. It is not going to be easy, physically or emotionally. That scared a bunch of people out of the room, but it holds a strange appeal for me. For this is no Michael Jackson bleeding heart fundraiser--there are enough handouts, enough emergency supplies. This is hardcore, brutal, hands-in-the-dirt relief work. We are teaching men to fish. We are reserve soldiers in a war against ourselves.

And I know it's selfish to think of it this way, but this may be a good opportunity for me to test how truly resistant I am to trauma.
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dd2guy
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From:user_undefined
Date:October 4th, 2005 03:19 am (UTC)
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I am supposed to be on the mailing list for that, but they haven't sent me any details at all. Who should I contact?
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From:erf_
Date:October 4th, 2005 03:20 am (UTC)
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Dunno. They passed around a list today. I should be getting an email from them soon. I'll forward it to you.
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From:user_undefined
Date:October 4th, 2005 03:31 am (UTC)
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Thank you kindly.
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From:erf_
Date:October 4th, 2005 04:58 am (UTC)
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Stupid me! I neglected to mention that we're meeting again in Wilder at 10:30 on Thursday. Come.
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From:hatikvah_42
Date:October 4th, 2005 03:47 am (UTC)
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GAH!

I held off on buying tickets because I thought there might be a group like this, but then I didn't hear anything and thought there were enough people down there already in the area and that they didn't really need my help and they really just wanted money and supplies because that was the most helpful, and now I have tickets to go home and GRRR!!
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From:erf_
Date:October 4th, 2005 04:52 am (UTC)
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It's okay. What they need most is money, it seems (the stores in New Orleans are open, it's just a matter of going to them and buying stuff). Manpower is always good, but even our little group is going to have to do mad fundraising just to pay for gas. And even then we might have to spend around $100-200 apiece just to pay for whatever basic needs our funding can't cover.
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From:erf_
Date:October 4th, 2005 04:50 am (UTC)
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Sure thing.
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From:erf_
Date:October 4th, 2005 04:58 am (UTC)
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We're meeting again at 10:30 in Wilder on Thursday, by the way.
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From:oceanruins
Date:October 4th, 2005 07:21 am (UTC)
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I read somewhere they're offering counseling to journalists and reporters who worked there after the hurricane. It's tough down there.

Good thinks in advance. Be careful of insects, toxic mold and smelly smells.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 5th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
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the only people that beat on asians are their parents. you have nothing to worry about.

cc
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From:erf_
Date:October 5th, 2005 02:12 am (UTC)
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You haven't been following what happened at UMich, have you?