Image by the BBC
I really can't say much about Hurricane Katrina. I don't live there and never had the unfortunate experience of having my livelihood claimed by a natural disaster nor can I say there are people I know to have experienced that problem. Some stories are best left for others to cover. The ones who really deserve a voice are the ones who are there - the ones trapped on their rooftops, the ones immersed in contaminated water, and the ones being moved from one shelter to the next. I nevertheless do wish to share these few words that I received in an e-mail at work.
Imagine you woke up this morning and realized that just like yesterday ... everything you owned was gone.
Imagine you had to go to the bathroom but couldn't because 15,000 people had already used the toilet without being able to flush it.
Imagine you haven't bathed in three days.
Imagine you want to brush your teeth or wash your face but you can't because the water is contaminated.
Imagine you have no idea when you'll be able to take a shower.
Imagine no television.
Imagine no cell phones.
Imagine. No. Electricity.
Imagine the sun as your only source of light and when it retires for the day ... total and complete darkness for the next ten hours.
Imagine intense daytime heat and no method of cooling off.
Imagine losing your job because your workplace is gone.
Imagine watching those around you turn into savages, unable to cope with the anxiety and fear that everyone around you is struggling to deal with, and they begin taking out their frustrations in violence and breaking the law.
Imagine you haven't had a decent meal to eat in days. And the food that you are eating ... well ... it's starting to become scarce.
Imagine your health and your energy level quickly deteriorating.
Imagine not really knowing what's going on around you as people scream and babies cry constantly.
Imagine sitting on the roof of your home, trapped by toxic waters filled with alligators, venomous snakes and rats. You're sunburned and conserving all your energy to flag down helicopters to rescue you and when a helicopter does fly by it takes one look at you, decides you're healthy enough to wait longer for rescue and bypasses you.
Imagine being stripped of your home, your job, your possessions, your rights, your health, your dignity, your hope, your confidence, your faith, your sanity, your money, your friends and your family.
Imagine dealing with all of this and still trying to map out a plan for your future. Your new home. Your new job. And yet ... no money to attain either.
But know that it is much worse living it and hope that for most there is someone they love to help share in it.