Friday, September 16, 2005

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

Morning meeting. Lots of massaging of volunteers. I was very happy to massage Sharon, Malik’s partner in this whole operation, and Malik. Sharon evacuated her house in another area of the city and came to Malik’s to ride out the storm. She’s fundamental to the running of this whole effort.
Things are very stressful just by the nature of the situation and because we know the authorities do not want this community to survive, they want the community to leave.
Currenlty the law requiring MD’s and nurses working in Louisiana to have a Louisiana license has been overriden allowing doctors and nurses from anywhere to serve people here. It looks like that override will not be renewed, meaning that in within the next two weeks the clinic will have to have a Louisiana license MD on staff in order to write prescriptions. This is a big deal. We need more medically trained people, and ones for Louisiana are expecially important.
At the clinic, things are more organized. The bicycle medics traveled around to treat folks in their homes again. I was there for less than an hour today and in that time I helped people look for things they needed -shampoo, soap, diapers, toothpaste/brushes, baby formula, tampons, etc. I got to play with some super cute kids too and help them pick out stuffed animals and books. The medics now have a nightly meeting.
Oliver (the acupuncturist) and I (chinese bodyworker) did house calls today. Roger, a medic from the clinic, pointed us to two couples across the street from one another in Algiers. They wanted massage and acupuncture. We spent hours mostly listening to them talk about how they’re feeling and what has happened to them since the hurricane struck. They were seriously traumatized and clearly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. They had a LOT to say. None of them had experienced chinese medicine before. They were so grateful. We’re going back tomorrow to treat all of them again. We could really see a shift in their spirits by the time we left. They were much more in the present moment.
Todd went to New Orleans with some press people and looked for a hotel room for a Belgian journalist named Gert. When they found that all the hotels were full, they went to the home of Todd’s friend, Jen, who had evacuated the city and said her place was available for people to stay in if necessary. Gert decided it wasn’t comfortable to stay there because of the horrible smell, the fear of being perceived as a looter, and the heavy military presence. Todd says things look like they are getting back to normal in the French Quarter and yet the city is really empty.
Oliver treated folks with acupuncture most of the evening.


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