It has been about a month since my last entry and what a month it has been....

First dealing with the aftermath of Katrina and Rita and the havoc it has taken on my family still leaves me speechless. In total I lost two family members to Katrina. Several others are still dealing with emotional and pyschological scars that will probably last a lifetime. My uncle, once a vibrant trial lawyer that could tell a story as well as any Southern Baptist preacher, barely utters a word. Seeing his grandchild ripped from his hands and claimed by the flood waters, has proven to be a silencer.

Material things take an entire new meaning, when you see nearly everything that your family owns washed away.

Secondly, travel... travel... and more travel. This month I have been to Atlanta, Phoenix and Denver. Once again I spent more time away this month then I did in my own house... however it was good to see friends and college classmates in Atlanta (more on this later). And the Phoenician spa in Phoenix was absolutely amazing. Imagine getting a massage as the sun sets next to a cascading pool and waterfall overlooking a set of mountain ranges.... damn I love my job.

Third my bestfriend goes to closing on his house tomorrow. Two years ago we talked about what needed to be done to accomplish this and to see him reach this goal is such a great feeling.

Fourth.... work... work and more work. Frustrations of dealing with people that have no appreciation or concept of what you do is beginning to take its toll. I should have stayed on contract instead of taking this position full time. If things continue to progress the way they are now... I will be looking for a corporate conference and event management job in the DC, NYC, ATL and Miami areas so keep your eyes open.

Well that is all the updates for now.... time for dinner.

In the Background: Access Hollywood

Never let an opportunity pass without telling those in your life that you love them.
Never let the sun go down on your anger.
Never take tomorrow for granted.

Nigel Alexander Baptiste-Williams
March 12, 1989 - August 30, 2005

Katrina... 3 days later

It was Monday when Katrina hit. It was early Tuesday morning when the levees broke allowing Lake Ponchatrain to engulf the city. Gas prices have hit record highs. People have lost everything that they have ever known, including relatives and friends.

It has been 3 days since I have spoken to any of my family members there. It pains me to watch the continuous coverage on every news channel, yet I do in hopes to see an alive face or story of my kin. It had to be the 30th time I dialed 1-504... and it was the 30th time I would get a busy signal or a message from the operator telling me my efforts would be fruitless yet again. Last night something told me to try a text message this time. To my surprise it went through.... and even more to my surprise my friend Steven responded letting me know him and my other friend from New Orleans had made it safely to Baton Rouge. Exhale.

Another friend sent me this message from her blackberry today:
I am alive, but I have nothing but what is on my back. I have lost everything, it is all gone. Please call Mark [her husband] at the number in Shreveport and let him know that I am going to a shelter and will be in touch. Our New Orleans is no more. I have lost everything. Keep praying. - M

Three days letter and still no word from my family.

Today standing in the Rose Garden, President Bush said, "This recovery will take a long time. This recovery will take years."

"I'm confident that with time you'll get your life back in order, new communities will flourish, the great city of New Orleans will get back on its feet and America will be a stronger place for it," Bush said. "The country stands with you. We'll do all in our power to help you," he said.

I can only hope that he is right.