“I work for the Red Cross”, is something I have stopped saying in NYC now. Everyone looks at me very sadly and in hushed tones ask, Oh, how is that? It makes me feel as if someone has died. I quickly started responding, not for the Americans, though, but that is also tricky since how many people out there really know how the RC movement actually works? Most of you know, since most of you reading my blog are people who work in development but for the randoms out there, a very quick RC Movement lesson in my next blog after I finish writing this one.
Katrina happened while I was in Sri Lanka. The Pakistani Earthquake did as well and it was the two times that I felt pangs to not be working in either place. Both are home to me in some way, shape or form. Seems like AmCross really fucked up Katrina. I actually don’t have lots of information on this and perhaps should look it up but the Red Cross is vilified here because of the poor efforts in New Orleans and the fact that things are STILL a year later, in not just a developed country but THE developed country, looking really bad. All donations, I think, were channeled through the Red Cross and they were the big ones, along with FEMA to coordinate the Katrina activities. I guess they didn’t do so well, which is why everyone just looks at me sadly with eyes that say you poor poor child working for the Red Cross. Very different from the reputation of AmCross overseas and within the movement in fact where they are kind of a power house, which was one of my reasons for wanting to stay away from them. I should do a google search on it and write about it more since it is in my backyard and all. Hmmm, perhaps I should have written the post AFTER I did the research so that I could have looked smarter. Ah well.
There is more to come but first, a joint Happy Birthday to Emma and Bill. Emma just had her bday on the 5th and Bill will be having his on Sunday with the World Cup Final (what a lovely way to spend a birthday! And given the time difference, it will be a drunken viewing of the game late at night) and it sounds like he has some big celebration planned. I was there for his birthday last year where he drank so much that he kept saying I am utterly utterly arseholed, and was alternatively hugging trees and burrowing into the sand. We stuck him in a tuk tuk and EHB had to put him to bed. At least Bill is not on a beach this time around. Amazing that someone who hates the beach (sand and sun and salty water are not his thing) has now spent something like NINE years on a tiny tropical island.
If I had not just had some alcohol poisoning which was one of the worst experiences of my life, I would be raising a glass to the two of you. I still can, I suppose, but it will have to be a virgin arrack and coke. Which I guess is then palm juice and coke which sounds nasty to my queasy stomach. Ugh.
a Very Happy Birthday
Very Special People.