I guess this journey's almost over... as if measuring Katrina's impact has a finish line... I am assigned here for the foreseeable future so I may park the car for a week or two, but then I'll put it in gear once more and find the on ramp. As result I look at this trip not as over, heck, we were just scouting ahead for stories to come. There are so many more to be told.
What would I have done different? Well, maybe ask for a cooler car. If I knew a camera crew was going to chase me down a highway filming me as I go, then, really, is a white Camry me?
What I really learned is that Katrina is an even bigger catastrophe than I thought. I rode the storm out at the Superdome and spent three days at the convention center. That was bad. But this was my first journey beyond New Orleans and now I know there was bad all over, but there has also been good. Like in New Orleans... the hundreds of people that showed up hours after the storm with a pick-up truck pulling a boat. They saved thousands. Or now the church groups who flood Mississippi and beyond. Volunteers who just show up and do what needs to be done.
Most of all I've learned Katrina is a life changing event. Some people have opportunities in new places to start new lives, and some will never, no matter how long they live, get back what they lost. In one day, nature delivered a shock so severe it will be the dividing line for many in this region... that which was before and then what was after Katrina..
I include myself in that special enclave. For all of us the road trip's just begun.