Saturday, September 03, 2005

Social projects

It is time to do decide on where we will do our Social work. Since we are here on Student and Cultural visas we are required to be involed in projects while we are enrolled at New View. Nathan and I are considering teaching English as a second language at school number 23; the school that we visited on September 1st. They have had as many as nine of our students in the past working at the school. The kids there learn English, French and German. The English they study is British English not American. Stop and think... do you say elevator or lift? Do you say apartment or flat? You decide if you speak American. Spencer may work at the Children's home or the kindergarten. Both places are in need of males to be around the kids. Tom is working at a Rehabilitation Center.

Tom toured the center yesterday. He took Valentin with him because he was told to bring a male interpretor. At one point there were a few addicts that followed them from room to room. This guy asked Tom if he had heard of Americans sponsoring people financially to send them to the States. Tom was not willing to do that for him... so the guy said "well, then will you buy me some cooookies?" Tom laughed heartily. The word he comprehended first was 'cooookies'. Valentin asked Tom if he needed a translation. Tom said he got the message! And no; he was not bringing back cookies either!

We are looking forward to having a phone on Tuesday.

We are eager to get the kitchen cabinets and counters done and that is supposed happen on Tuesday as well. After that the oven and sink will go in!

We are finally hearing news about New Orleans. It sounds unreal. I may have relatives there I am not sure. It is hard being in a place where news is not about the United States exclusively.

Today there was a memorial downtown for the children in Beslan who were killed during the hostage crisis last year. That happened on September 1st,2004.

The children in that city will not start school until next week so they can make new memories; although like the kids from Columbine how can you ever forget....

Friday, September 2, 2005.
Lawlessness Hampers New Orleans Rescue Efforts

By Adam Nossiter The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- The evacuation of refugees from the Superdome was suspended Thursday because of fires and gunshots outside the arena, authorities said, as National Guardsmen in armored vehicles poured into New Orleans to help restore order across the increasingly lawless and desperate city.
An additional 10,000 National Guard troops from across the country were ordered into the hurricane-ravaged Gulf of Mexico coast area to shore up security, rescue and relief operations in Katrina's wake. That brought the number of troops to more than 28,000, in what may be the biggest militєary response to a natural disaster in U.S. history.
"The truth is, a terrible tragedy like this brings out the best in most people, brings out the worst in some people," said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on NBC's "Today" show. "We're trying to deal with looters as ruthlessly as we can get our hands on them."
The first of 500 busloads of people to be evacuated from the hot and stinking Louisiana Superdome arrived early Thursday at their new temporary home -- another sports arena, the Houston Astrodome, 560 kilometers away.
But the evacuation of the 25,000 or so storm refugees was abruptly suspended by the ambulance service in charge of taking the sick and injured from the Superdome and by the military, which was overseeing the removal of the able-bodied. Richard Zeuschlag, chief of Acadian Ambulance, said shots were fired at a military helicopter, making it clear that it had become too dangerous for his air-ambulance pilots. And National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Pete Schneider said the military suspended the ground evacuation because fires set outside the arena were preventing buses from getting close enough to pick people up.
On Wednesday, Mayor Ray Nagin offered the most startling estimate yet of the magnitude of the disaster. Asked how many people died in New Orleans, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands." The death toll has already reached at least 110 in Mississippi.
Nagin called for a total evacuation of New Orleans, saying it had become uninhabitable for the 50,000 to 100,000 who remained behind after the city of nearly a half-million people was ordered evacuated over the weekend, before Katrina blasted the Gulf Coast with 233-kilometer-per-hour winds.
The mayor said that it would be two or three months before the city was functioning again and that people would not be allowed back into their homes for at least a month or two.
With New Orleans sinking deeper into desperation, Nagin also ordered virtually the entire police force to abandon search-and-rescue efforts Wednesday and stop the increasingly brazen thieves.
"They are starting to get closer to heavily populated areas, hotels, hospitals -- and we're going to stop it right now," Nagin said.
In a sign of growing lawlessness, Tenet HealthCare asked authorities late Wednesday to help evacuate a fully functioning hospital in Gretna after a supply truck carrying food, water and medical supplies was held up at gunpoint. "There are physical threats to safety from roving bands of armed individuals with weapons who are threatening the safety of the hospital," said spokesman Steven Campanini.
Tempers flared elsewhere across the devastated region. Police said a man in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, fatally shot his sister in the head over a bag of ice. Dozens of carjackings were reported, including a nursing home bus. One officer was shot in the head and a looter was wounded in a shootout. Both were expected to survive.
On some of the few roads that were still open, people waved at passing cars with empty water jugs, begging for relief.
The floodwaters streamed into the city's streets from two levee breaks near Lake Pontchartrain a day after New Orleans thought it had escaped catastrophic damage from Katrina. The floodwaters covered 80 percent of the city, in some areas 6 meters deep, in a reddish-brown soup of sewage, gasoline and garbage.
The Army Corps of Engineers said it planned to use heavy-duty Chinook helicopters to drop 6,750-kilogram bags of sand and stone into a 150-meter gap in the failed floodwall.
But the agency said it was having trouble getting the sandbags and dozens of 5-meter highway barriers to the site because the city's waterways were blocked by loose barges, boats and large debris.
The seventeen Russian university students who had been stranded on a rooftop in hurricane-flooded New Orleans have all been rescued, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
© Copyright 2005 The Moscow Times. All rights reserved.

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