As I close my eyes and drift away to arrive at a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
When I was in New York, New York, I quickly learned the best way to get around the city was to walk. When we walk we often get to see and explore more than driving in a car from getting to Point A - Point B. This is exactly what I wanted to do while in Houston. To walk, I'm grateful that the roads and sidewalks were safe enough to walk. The flood water may have gone from this area, but the debris, damage, and remnants are highly visible. I'm guessing that the clean - ups, and re - building will take a while. Having said this, I think that it is important to remain positive.
Re-building might even pave the way to think about what worked and what didn't work, and how to improve processes. What is unfortunate about this hurricane is that no one expected the extent of this damage, let alone the areas that were targeted, as it is uncommon for hurricanes to touch down in these specific areas. Many people who live in these areas, who are home owners probably don't even have home insurance coverage from natural disasters. It is really unfortunate. So here we have two points to consider: Insurance coverages and rebuilding infrastructure. Also as I was travelling, I quickly learned that Houston is a very large city, it stretches endlessly. Even though I got to see much while I was walking, in contrast to my thoughts with regards to inner city New York, I learned that I had to take cabs, to get from point A, to B. Not being familiar with the transit systems in this area, and because of the circumstance of the hurricane, a cab was the best option for me to arrive at my destination. While travelling, I observed that even though there are stretches of lanes for cars, there is still congestion. This congestion could be resolved by building a sky way / bridges.
As I arrived at my destination to volunteer and give my donations, it was difficult to decide where to give the donations because the need is everywhere. So I decided because my field is education, to donate these to the Houston Independent School Board (HISD). They are collecting items for their school families. It was truly an honor to serve along side everyone here. Even though we wish something like this never happened, to see everyone help and support each other is a warming feeling.
During my time here I learned that the schools were supposed to re-open for the new school year. Most of the children in these schools are living in shelters, away from the schools that they were supposed to be attending. So here is another issue: How to transport students to their schools once they re-open. Would it be easier for the students to go to schools near their shelters, or transport them to their home schools? The outcome to this question is dependant on many factors: How long are the families expecting to stay in the shelters? When will it be safe enough to return to their homes? Do these individuals / families even have homes to return to? It might be a question of doing an intake analysis. Everyone is in the shelters for the same reason, however the cases differ.
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to all volunteers who are absolutely making a difference, thank you so much. You are appreciated. Houston Strong. My thoughts to share with love & kindness.
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand - written on September 1st, 2017. All images are my own.