I really do hope my reasignment puts me in a place as amusingly nicknamed as Camp K-Mart. It's an amusing moniker. Besides which, I rather liked the irony of waiting for hours on end under a sign marked "Layaway".
I've been doing random chores for the last few days here. On monday 30 of us were packed into two 15-person vans (they can afford food and hotel for all these extra people but they can't afford a third van so that we're not packed like sardines?) and drove to Brookhaven, Mississippi to drive back rental cars. Mundane, yes, but it is a job that needs to be done. People and supplies get shuffled so much that cars don't always end where they began.
Tuesday I was sanitizing cots from the closing shelters and cleaning trucks. Picked up my first battle scar: two of us climbed up on the trucks to clean off the weeks worth of dead bugs splattered up there. The problem was getting down. We nixed the climbing idea after that.
Wednesday was more book reading, a little security work (while book reading - I was just making sure no one took stuff from the warehouse without a requsitiion form), and the assemblage of comfot kits, which is kind of fun. Then the real chaos happened.
I'm being transferred to Houston. Tuesday night the tentative plan was transferring to Dallas, but today (Wednesday) the word is Houston. Others are being transferred to New Orleans and Baton Rouge. After much hemming and hawwing about the whole thing, they gave up sending up today and told us to leave early and get some rest. Then I get a phone call at about 6pm callng me back: while at 2pm it was too late to start the trip, now the plan is to travel tonight. Go figure.
What awaits me in Houston I have no idea. Supposedly they have need of us. (Supposedly Montgomery had a need for me too!) Supposedly this has been double-checked. I'm not the only one who has stopped believing anything we hear until it actually happens.
Someone told me president Bush announces last week that the shelters were closing on the 15th, and that's why we're in the hurry to close them. Can anyone confirm this? One more reason to hate the man. I'm pretty damn sure he didn't really talk to the Red Cross before this announcement. I've talked to people coming back from the shelters - they doubt they'll all close on time, and those that are being rushed. Now, to be clear, NO ONE is being abandoned. The Red Cross does not do that. As long as there's a need, the Red Cross answers. But they can answer by dropping them into a hotel room and paying the bills. But there are areas that are resenting it. Going through Jackson, Mississippi to pick up those retal cars, we were warned to hide our Red Cross ID badges when we got out to eat, because some volunteers have been hassled. The communities are feeling abandoned. I don't know the details why, or whether its a valid complaint.