Thursday, September 15, 2005

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005
We woke up and immediately participated in the daily morning meeting. It seemed a bit like a press conference because there’s a bunch of people here doing media. There’s a Danish television duo here making a documentary and there are several other people with video cameras and audio recording devices. Our entire crew went to the medical clinic, which is operating out of a mosque, all day and most of the night. We unloaded medical supplies from our vehicles, organized the supplies, the kitchen, and the hygiene donations for people to take. I spent a good amount of time cleaning up garbage around the clinic. The clinic was established a few days earlier and we were very much needed to build the infrastructure.
Numerous people came from the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods to get treated. Plus, several medics went out on bicycle to see people not able to make it to the clinic themselves. High blood pressure is rampant and eating so many sodium-rich canned goods and the military’s MREs doesn’t help a bit. People are coming back for follow-up appointments. I talked with a bunch of patients and did one massage there. I also helped occupy children while their mothers collected donated hygiene supplies they needed in plastic garbage bags. Todd drove a bunch of patients to Jefferson hospital to pick-up prescriptions. He also drove an elderly character and his schizophrenic son to get free clothing at the Red Cross station that opened one or two days prior. FEMA is also here, they arrived a couple days before we did.

( Medical Center started by Common ground)
Military personnel in full fatigues and gunned-up went around Algiers in groups handing out fliers announcing they opened a clinic, for two days--today and tomorrow. They also drove around in humvees making the announcement
through a loudspeaker. A clinic for two days. It seems clear that the military is trying to work against the success of this clinic. This goal is for this is to create a permanent community clinic in Algiers.
Cindy Sheehan and her crew came through Malik’s place and the clinic. It felt a bit like a politician on the campaign trail. It will probably help attract more volunteers, and that’s a good thing.
A big group of us watched the sunset at the nearby levee looking over the Mississippi into New Orleasns. We had a big meeting at the clinic discussing important issues, including race dynamics. Curfew was at 9:00pm and not so bad. I massaged a number of volunteers. Bed..

( This is the Red Cross/Military food distribution center that opened up 1 day before we got there. The question is: what will the people do here when they leave? And what took two weeks for them to get here!?)


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