Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Realizations

After being back from the Gulf Coast, there are things that take place in my everyday life that remind me of my life of privilege, and how things could be different if more people would take action.

On Saturday Ryan and I were driving towards the mall to purchase new cell phones before visiting his sister in Cincy. The fact that we have a mall to go to and that we can afford new phones is amazing in itself. However, while driving the back way on Old State Road, I observed housing development after housing development that seem to appear in a matter of months. Delaware County is one of the ten fastest growing counties in the country, and most people who live here are proud of that.

If you were to drive on highway 90 along the Gulf Coast in Mississippi, you would not see housing developments, or shopping centers, or large apartment complexes. You would see empty concrete foundations where houses, shopping centers, and apartment complexes use to be.

If developers can build houses in a matter of months, there is no reason that we should still see so much emptiness on the Gulf Coast almost two years after the storm. It doesn't make sense to me. Why build houses for people who already have some place to live in Delaware County Ohio, when you could build houses for people who are living in FEMA trailer parks in Harrison County Mississippi?

I don't know the answer to these questions, but if it was up to me development in the United States would stop until people in the Gulf Coast region had some sense of normalcy returned to their lives. Katrina was a natural disaster and it should be considered a National disaster, but most people go about their lives considering it as one of the many things in the list of "not my problem."

After being where I was, I am overwhelmed by a sense of sadness every time I step outside of my air conditioned 600 square foot apartment. Several weeks ago we were trying to buy a house, because for some reason I didn't feel that this place was sufficient enough for us. But it's bigger than a FEMA trailer. I have a grocery store near by, and a church to worship in, and my neighbors have a school to send their kids. How can my apartment be any more sufficient than that?

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